Browsing by Subject "COBRA"

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  • Khannoon, Eraqi R.; Ollonen, Joni; Di-Poi, Nicolas (2020)
    Ontogenetic studies are crucial for understanding functional morphology, origin and adaptation of skulls in vertebrates. However, very few studies have so far released complete embryonic series focusing on skull embryonic development in species showing diverse and extreme cranial morphologies such as snakes. The wide distribution and unique reproductive and ecological behaviors of venomous vipers, including the heterogeneity in breeding and egg incubation periods in oviparous species, make this group an excellent new model for studying the diversity of skull developmental processes in snakes. Here we present the first complete description of osteocranium development in a viperine snake, Cerastes cerastes, using detailed analysis of the ossification pattern of individual bones across different embryonic stages based on high-resolution micro-computed tomography data. Particularly, we describe in detail the development of the laterosphenoid from its dorsal and ventral components, dividing the trigeminal foramen into maxillary and mandibular foramina. Furthermore, our data help clarify some controversy concerning the presence and/or origin of structures related to the snake basicranium and braincase roof. For example, our detailed description of supraoccipital development suggests that this bone derived, at least in part, from the tectum posterius, although the involvement of the tectum synoticum cannot be totally excluded. Similarly, the epiotic centers of supraoccipital ossification are confirmed during braincase development, and the ancestral lacrimal bone primordium is observed as a ventral element at the early stages of prefrontal development. Finally, our embryonic C. cerastes data highlight a plausible asymmetry in snake skull development, mostly occurring in the basicranium region, but further investigations of embryonic samples and viper species would be required to confirm such phenomenon.
  • Soukainen, Arttu; Pajunen, Timo; Korhonen, Tuuli; Saarinen, Joni; Chichorro, Filipe; Jalonen, Sonja; Kiljunen, Niina; Koskivirta, Nelli; Kuurne, Jaakko; Leinonen, Saija; Salonen, Tero; Yrjölä, Veikko; Fukushima, Caroline; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    Background In June 2019, an ecology field course of the University of Helsinki was held at Lammi Biological Station, Southern Finland. Within this course, the students familiarised themselves with field work and identification of spiders and explored the diversity of species in the area. Three sampling plots were chosen, one in grassland and two in boreal forest, to demonstrate the sampling techniques and, by applying a standardised protocol (COBRA), contribute to a global spider biodiversity project. New information The collected samples contained a total of 3445 spiders, of which 1956 (57%) were adult. Only adult spiders were accounted for in the inventory due to the impossibility of identification of juveniles. A total of 115 species belonging to 17 families were identified, of which the majority (58 species, 50%) were Linyphiidae. Lycosidae and Theridiidae both had 11 species (10%) and all the other families had seven or fewer species. Linyphiidae were also dominant in terms of adult individuals captured, with 756 (39%), followed by 705 (36%) Lycosidae. Other families with more than 100 individuals were Thomisidae (196, 10%) and Tetragnathidae (102, 5%). The most abundant species were the lycosids Pardosa fulvipes (362, 19%) and Pardosa riparia (290, 15%) and the linyphiid Neriene peltata (123, 6%).
  • Cardoso, Pedro; Heikkinen, Lea; Jalkanen, Joel; Kohonen, Minna; Leponiemi, Matti; Mattila, Laura; Ollonen, Joni; Ranki, Jukka-Pekka; Virolainen, Anni; Zhou, Xuan; Pajunen, Timo (2017)
    Background During a field course on spider taxonomy and ecology at the University of Helsinki, the authors had the opportunity to sample four plots with a dual objective of both teaching on field methods, spider identification and behaviour and uncovering the spider diversity patterns found in the southern coastal forests of Hankoniemi, Finland. As an ultimate goal, this field course intended to contribute to a global project that intends to uncover spider diversity patterns worldwide. With that purpose, a set of standardised methods and procedures was followed that allow the comparability of obtained data with numerous other projects being conducted across all continents. New information A total of 104 species and 1997 adults was collected. Of these, 41 species (39%) were Linyphiidae and 13 (12%) Theridiidae. All other families had 6 or less species represented. Linyphiidae were also dominant in terms of adult individuals captured, with 1015 (51%), followed by 428 (21%) Lycosidae, 158 (8%) Tetragnathidae and 145 (7%) Theridiidae. All other families had less than 100 individuals. The most abundant species were Neriene peltata, Alopecosa taeniata, Piratula hygrophila and Dismodicus elevatus, all with more than 100 individuals. All sites had between 56 and 62 species and between 445 and 569 individuals.