It is with immeasurable sadness and grief that I am writing these lines. But I find solace in the knowledge that Professor Bernie Rollin will always live amongst us, his words and actions have left their indelible mark upon this world. His work is outstanding and illustrious.
However, the aim of this letter is not to commend his tremendous work, with which all readers are most probably already familiar, but to attempt to impart as best I can the most significant and sagacious of his teachings, that, as wonderfully blessed as I am, I had the honor of receiving. Professor
Many molecular phylogenetic studies conclude by reporting discoveries of new “cryptic” species. However, these putative biological entities are typically left unverified outside of the dna evidence or subjected to only superficial post-hoc analyses. Minute land snails of the Western Palearctic Pyramidula represent one of such examples being considered a cryptic species complex based on previously conducted molecular phylogeny. Several species appear indistinguishable due to noticeable shell tendency towards either high-spired (Pyramidula rupestris and P. jaenensis) or low-spired (P. saxatilis and P. pusilla) morphotype. Here, we challenge this conclusion by using mt DNA, n DNA, morphometric analyses and qualitative shell features, and seek for a potential evolutionary mechanism behind the conchological similarities. Through an empirical integration of multiple data types we document that the studied taxa can be visually distinguished. Unlike isolated shell measurements, cva s based on traditional morphometrics and geometric morphometrics have power to separate all species from each other, except for P. saxatilis and P. pusilla. However, only a use of previously overlooked shell surface microsculpture makes it possible to identify individuals of all species. Considering tight associations between shell measurements and climate, we propose an evolutionary explanation based on optimization of thermal flux under different climatic selection pressures. Our study brings the awareness towards microscopic shell features, and outlines a general protocol to identify robust visual identification criteria in taxonomic groups containing cryptic (and non-cryptic) members. It also exemplifies an integration of various data types for macroscale species identification, which we believe should follow any discovery of putatively cryptic species.
Bernard Rollin’s main concerns are domestic and research animals. Such animals have endured less suffering as a result of Rollin’s seminal work. Animals are of moral concern because they have conscious interests, or telos. Rollin’s use of telos is plausible though more specialized than usual. Rollin has theoretical or in-principle ideals that are unlikely to be accepted as current practice. In result he adopts more moderate moral principles. In the fair-contract, husbandry dimension of agriculture, the farmer takes care of the cows and pigs, recognizing their rights, and then eats them, or sells them to be eaten. He reaches a strange combination of kinship and chasm separating human and animal minds. Rollin’s account of any deeper environmental ethics for a biospheric Earth is unsatisfactory, any respect for life beyond sentience, especially his concepts of global ecosystems.
Deforestation impacts canopy connectivity when landscapes are fragmented due to roads and other types of linear infrastructure. Natural canopy bridges become vital to arboreal animals, especially for animals that are reluctant to use the ground. When canopy regrowth cannot occur, artificial canopy bridges have been implemented to mitigate the consequences of linear infrastructure. The aim of our study was to evaluate the evidence for the use of artificial canopy bridges by spider monkeys (Ateles spp.) to cross linear infrastructure that interrupts canopy connectivity. We report details of five cases in which the absence of evidence for spider monkeys using artificial canopy bridges to cross linear infrastructure was based on systematic monitoring. We examined the factors that may constrain spider monkeys to use artificial faunal overpasses and made recommendations for effective artificial faunal overpasses for spider monkeys.
The growth pattern of the Polish phytosaur Parasuchus cf. arenaceus and the aetosaur Stagonolepis olenkae (both Krasiejów; Norian) was studied. Results were compared to published data of other members of these two groups and to a new sample of the German (Heslach; Norian) phytosaur Nicrosaurus sp. All three herein studied taxa display lamellar-zonal bone consisting predominately of parallel-fibred tissue and on average a low to moderate vascular density. Towards the outer cortex the thickness of annuli increases in most samples and becomes distinctly wider than the zones. Therefore, most of the appositional growth in adults was achieved during phases of prolonged slow growth. All bones show a diffuse growth pattern, without well demarcated zones and annuli. Distinct lines of arrested growth (lag) are not identified in the Krasiejów sample, only the Nicrosaurus femur shows one distinct lag as do other taxa outside Krasiejów. Instead, the Krasiejów taxa display multiple rest lines and sub-cycles. Thus, identification and count of annual growth cycles remains difficult, the finally counted annual growth cycles range (two to six) is quite large despite the low size range of the samples. A correlation between age and bone length is not identified, indicating developmental plasticity. Although both are archosaurs, Stagonolepis and Parasuchus are phylogenetically not closely related, however, they show a very similar growth pattern, despite different life styles (terrestrial vs. semi-aquatic). Based on the new data, and previously histological studies from Krasiejów, the local environmental conditions were special and had a strong influence on the growth pattern.
Historically, Internet access has been linked to a country’s wealth. However, starting a decade ago, this situation changed dramatically and Internet access became increasingly available in primate range countries. The rapid growth of smartphone use in developing nations has created new avenues to communicate conservation. Here we assess the potential of social media to promote primate conservation at the local level within primate range countries. We interviewed 381 people in communities associated with 18 conservation projects from 11 countries to assess their use of social media. We found that 91% of the people had at least one social media account and 95% of these people checked their accounts daily. The median number of contacts per person across all platforms was 453 and 300 considering only each person’s most used platform. We also documented that local conservation projects had a diversity of information they wanted to relay to the local community through social media. Our research highlights the potential for social media to be an extremely useful communication tool for tropical conservation scientists. Thus, we encourage more conservation groups to explore using social media to communicate to local communities and to report on the impact it has on conservation.
Bernard Rollin taught the first class in veterinary ethics in modern veterinary history at Colorado State University in the late 1970’s as a result of his outrage at the behavior of a CSU surgeon who gave him only one option for his dog, when others were less invasive. The course, which became part of the veterinary curriculum at CSU, began with a history of the evolution of thought and attitudes toward animals from early Greek philosophy and Oriental religion, and followed it to modern times. He used the concept of telos, or nature of an animal, to develop his theory of why animals should be treated as moral objects with rights, and over the period of 40 years taught, wrote books and articles, lectured all over the world, and influenced legislation protecting animals.
In Science and Ethics, Bernard Rollin argues that ethics and values are relevant to science, that scientists have ignored these because of their “ideology,” that science is value-free, concluding that science should abandon this ideology. Value-free science rests on the fact-value distinction, defended by several philosophers. But scientists do make value judgments, something which should fall outside of science. This is reinforced by the naturalism of science. All of this leads to the question: How is it possible for ethics to find a place in science?
Marine symbiotic Palaemonidae, comprising over 600 species, live in association with marine invertebrates of different phyla, like Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Porifera, and Tunicata. A phylogenetic study is performed on a clade of bivalve- and ascidian-associated endosymbiotic shrimp species (Caridea: Palaemonidae), using morphological and molecular data. A Total Evidence approach is used in order to include all currently known ingroup species in an evolutionary framework. Ancestral state reconstruction analyses are performed to identify host-switching events and ancestral ranges. The clade, including Ascidonia, Conchodytes, Dactylonia, Odontonia, and Pontonia, and various smaller genera, is recovered as monophyletic, with an ascidian-associated ancestral host state. At least six interphylum host switches are tentatively identified, with members of Odontonia and Notopontonia switching back to an ascidian host affiliation after the ancestral host switch of the clade including Conchodytes, Odontonia and related genera, from an ascidian- to a bivalve host. The clade including Ascidonia and Pontonia was recovered to have an ancestor with an East Pacific/Atlantic distribution. The other studied genera remained in the original ancestral Indo-West Pacific range. We hypothesize that similar internal environments of shrimp hosts from different phyla will function as hot spots for interphylum host switching in various lineages of symbionts.