ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0313.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: elephant dung coffee; volatile compound; discriminant marker; SHS GC–MS; chemometrics; coffee authentication
Online: 17 July 2018 (15:02:03 CEST)
Elephant dung coffee (Black Ivory Coffee) is a special Thai coffee produced from Arabica coffee cherries consumed by Asian elephants and collected from their feces. In this work, elephant dung coffee and controls were analyzed using static headspace gas chromatography hyphenated with mass spectrometry (SHS GC–MS), and chemometric approaches were applied for multivariate analysis and the selection of marker compounds that are characteristic of the coffee. Seventy-eight volatile compounds belonging to 13 chemical classes were tentatively identified, including 6 alcohols, 5 aldehydes, one carboxylic acid, 3 esters, 17 furans, one furanone, 13 ketones, 2 oxazoles, 4 phenolic compounds, 14 pyrazines, one pyridine, 8 pyrroles and 3 sulfur-containing compounds. Moreover, four potential discriminant markers of elephant dung coffee, including 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, 2-furfurylfuran and 3-penten-2-one were established. The proposed method may be useful for elephant dung coffee authentication and quality control.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0271.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: osteoarthritis; African elephant; Asian elephant; captivity; housing; mobility
Online: 18 January 2021 (17:30:32 CET)
The African bush and forest elephants, Loxodonta Africana and Loxodonta cyclotis, and the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, are the largest land-dwelling animals. Elephants need to be highly mobile and active in order to find fresh food and water, and in the case of males, to locate females in estrus for breeding. Asian elephants walk up to 21 km each day and African elephants can walk up to 28 km per day. This high level of mobility in the wild is also important for maintaining an optimum musculoskeletal health. However, most zoo elephants live in restricted spaces and cold climates that require extended periods of indoor confinement are therefore unable to be as physically active. Zoo enclosures for elephants are relatively small with hard surfaces (i.e. concrete, tarmac and hard packed dirt), so they cannot exercise and are forced to stand on unnaturally hard surfaces continually. Physical inactivity in captivity makes them more prone to gaining weight and developing bone and joint diseases such as osteomyelitis, joint ankylosis and osteoarthritis (OA). Many health and welfare problems in captive elephants are likely to be caused by the lack of mobility. This perspective article focuses on the possible link between captivity, mobility, physical inactivity and the development of OA in captive elephants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0231.v1
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:19:47 CET)
The progesterone receptor (PR) mediates progesterone regulation of female reproductive physiology, as well as gene transcription in non-reproductive tissues, such as brain, bone, lung and vasculature, in both women and men. An unusual property of progesterone is its high affinity for the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which regulates electrolyte transport in the kidney in humans and other terrestrial vertebrates. In humans, rats, alligators and frogs, progesterone antagonizes activation of the MR by aldosterone, the physiological mineralocorticoid in terrestrial vertebrates. In contrast, in elephant shark, ray-finned fishes and chickens, progesterone activates the MR. Interestingly, cartilaginous fishes and ray-finned fishes do not synthesize aldosterone, raising the question of which steroid(s) activate the MR in cartilaginous fishes and ray-finned fishes. The simpler synthesis of progesterone, compared to cortisol and other corticosteroids, makes progesterone a candidate physiological activator of the MR in elephant sharks and ray-finned fishes. Elephant shark and ray-finned fish MRs are expressed in diverse tissues, including heart, brain and lung, as well as, ovary and testis, two reproductive tissues that are targets for progesterone, which together suggests a multi-faceted physiological role for progesterone activation of the MR in elephant shark and ray-finned fish. The functional consequences of progesterone as an antagonist of some terrestrial vertebrate MRs and as an agonist of fish and chicken MRs are not fully understood. Indeed, little is known of physiological activities of progesterone via any vertebrate MR.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: glucocorticoid receptor; allosteric; elephant shark; nuclear receptors; evolution
Online: 19 October 2020 (10:03:00 CEST)
Orthologs of human glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and human mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) first appear in cartilaginous fishes. Subsequently, the MR and GR diverged to respond to different steroids: the MR to aldosterone and the GR to cortisol and corticosterone. We report that cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone activate full-length elephant shark GR, and progesterone, which activates elephant shark MR, does not activate elephant shark GR. However, progesterone inhibits steroid binding to elephant shark GR, but not to human GR. Together, this indicates partial functional divergence of elephant shark GR from the MR. Deletion of the N-terminal domain (NTD) from elephant shark GR (truncated GR) reduced the response to corticosteroids, while truncated and full-length elephant shark MR had similar responses to corticosteroids. Swapping of NTDs of elephant shark GR and MR yielded an elephant shark MR chimera with full-length GR-like increased activation by corticosteroids and progesterone compared to full-length elephant shark MR. Elephant shark MR NTD fused to GR DBD+LBD had similar activation as full-length MR, indicating that the MR NTD lacked GR-like NTD activity. We propose that NTD activation of human GR evolved early in GR divergence from the MR.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Asian elephant; Elephas maximus; cannabidiol; cannabis; CBD; endocannabinoid system
Online: 16 June 2021 (11:59:03 CEST)
The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is one of the largest herbivore mammals in the world. A portion of the total elephant population is under human care, where health problems such as skin lesions and decreased appetite are reported. The objective of this study was to apply the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) to aid treatment of palmar abscesses and a suboptimal food intake in a female Asian elephant in Mexico. A CBD-isolate compounded medication was administered orally at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg/day. CBD administration showed positive effects such as reduction in abscess size, decreased food selectivity, increased food intake, weight gain and increased mobility. More research in elephants is needed to understand their cannabinoid pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics and proposing a dosage range and therapeutic applications for this species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0358.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Asian elephant; MaxEnt; habitat suitability; protected area; climate change; human footprint
Online: 28 February 2022 (12:00:28 CET)
The reduction of biodiversity loss is one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The protection of endangered species is critical for conserving global biodiversity. Asian elephants，as one of the last few mega-herbivores on Earth, are currently threatened by climate changes and anthropogenic modifications. The modelling of their living habitats is of top priority to the conservation of Asian elephant. In this study, we used the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) to identify the current and potential future habitats of Asian elephants in South and Southeast Asia. We performed analyses for future projections with 17 scenarios by using the present results as baseline. To optimise the modelling results, we delineated the core habitats by using the Core Mapper Tool and compared them with existing protected areas (PAs) through gap analysis. The results showed that the current total area of core habitats is 491,455 km2 in size and will be reduced to 332,544 km2 by 2090 under SSP585 (the shared socioeconomic pathway). The projection analysis under differential scenarios suggested that most of the core habitats in the current protected areas would remain stable and suitable for elephants in the future. However, the remaining 75.17% of the core habitats lay outside the current PAs, and finally we mapped approximately 219,545 km2 of suitable habitats as priority protected areas in the future. Although our model did not perform well in some regions, our analyses and findings still could provide useful references to the planning of protected areas and conservation of Asian elephant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0202.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Napier grass; elephant grass; EMBRAPA; forage yield; feed quality; marker trait association
Online: 15 February 2020 (15:01:37 CET)
The evaluation of forage crops for adaptability and performance across production systems and environments is one of the main strategies used to improve forage production. To enhance the genetic resource base and identify traits responsible for increased feed potential of Napier grass, forty-five genotypes from EMBRAPA, Brazil, were evaluated for forage biomass yield and feed nutritional quality in a replicated trial under wet and dry season conditions in Ethiopia. The results revealed significant variation in forage yield and feed nutritional qualities among the genotypes and between the wet and dry seasons. Feed fibre components were lower in the dry season while crude protein, in vitro organic matter digestibility and metabolizable energy were higher. Based on the cumulative biomass yield and metabolizable energy yield, top performing genotypes were identified that are candidates for future forage improvement studies. Furthermore, the marker-trait association study identified diagnostic SNP and SilicoDArT markers and potential candidate genes that could differentiate high biomass yielding and high metabolizable energy genotypes in the collection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0051.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Nature Inspired Algorithms; Swarm Optimization; Elephant Search Algorithm; Energy-based Localization; Acoustic Positioning; Wireless Sensor Networks.
Online: 3 July 2018 (13:54:19 CEST)
This work addresses the energy-based source localization problem in wireless sensors networks. Instead of circumventing the maximum likelihood (ML) problem by applying convex relaxations and approximations (like all existing approaches do), we here tackle it directly by the use of metaheuristics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the ﬁrst time that metaheuristics is applied to this type of problems. More speciﬁcally an elephant herding optimization (EHO) algorithm is applied. Through extensive simulations, the key parameters of the EHO algorithm are optimized such that they match the energy decay model between two sensor nodes. A detailed analysis of the computational complexity is presented, as well as performance comparison between the proposed algorithm and existing non-metaheuristic ones. Simulation results show that the new approach signiﬁcantly outperforms the existing solutions in noisy environments, encouraging further improvement and testing of metaheuristic methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0296.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: crowdsourcing; citizen science; Flickr; land cover/use; social media; volunteered geographic information; wildlife tourism; Borneo Pygmy Elephant; Sabah; Malaysia; SDGs
Online: 24 November 2019 (16:40:15 CET)
This pilot study explores the potential of using a citizen science approach for sourcing volunteered geographic information via social media to research wildlife tourism interactions with endangered Borneo Pygmy Elephants on the lower Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Malaysia. Such information is critical if the lower Kinabatangan region is to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through a sustainable tourism industry based around viewing the pygmy elephants. Guests and guides from the Sukau Rainforest Lodge were encouraged to become close-range remote sensors by sharing geotagged photographs of pygmy elephant sightings on Flickr. A ten week on-ground trail generated 247 photographs shared by 17 individual contributors with approximately two-thirds (65%) of photographs being georeferenced for the time and location of the elephant sighting. Plotting those sighting to explore the vegetation matrix (i.e. remnant forest or oil palm plantation) showed almost three-quarter (73%) of the sightings occurred within 1 km of an oil palm plantation. Of greater concern is that one in two sightings (50%) along the river occurred within the 500 m of an oil palm planation, which is inside the riparian buffer that the Sabah Government recommended for conservation of the elephants in their Lower Kinabatangan range. This study therefore demonstrates proof of concept for this research method and its further application at the nexus of wildlife conservation and sustainable ecotourism research.