Two new, extremely small land snail species, Angustopila coprologos Páll-Gergely, Jochum & Hunyadi n. sp. and Angustopila psammion Páll-Gergely, Vermeulen & Anker n. sp. are described from northern Vietnam and northern Laos, respectively. The former is characterized by a rough surface sculpture and bears tiny mud granules arranged in a pattern of radial lines on its shell surface. The latter species is the new global record-holder of the tiniest land snail title, with a shell width of 0.6–0.68 mm and a shell height of 0.46–0.57 mm. These measurements surpass the former records of Angustopila pallgergelyi and Acmella nana.
The “Iberobathynella group”, or Iberobathynellini tribe, is a complex of six genera consisting of 33 nominal species and several cryptic species with an amphiatlantic distribution (in Europe, North Africa and North America). A modern systematic revision of this group of subterranean crustaceans is presented here. A phylogenetic and biogeographic study using morphological and molecular data (mitocondrial coi and nuclear 18S) was carried out and allowed to a) re-evaluate the taxonomic status and validity of previously erected subtribes, genera and subgenera that show congruence in the data; b) assess whether the identified mitochondrial lineages represent cryptic species; c) provide a plausible phylogenetic hypothesis for the relationships within Iberobathynellini and with the other two genera of the family Parabathynellidae that inhabit North America and Europe (Montanabathynella and Parabathynella, respectively); d) propose a plausible temporal and historical framework (paleobiogeographic scenario) for the diversification and evolution of the Iberobathynellini tribe based on the current distribution of morphotypes and their estimated times of divergence. Our results show that in parabathynellids, molecular and morphological divergences are not always congruent. Subtribe and subgenus are invalid categories so they must be eliminated. Paraiberobathynella genus needs to be revisited. The molecular dating results support the early divergence of the Iberobathynellini Tribe (Upper Cretaceous, around 78 Mya) and the vicariance by plate tectonics as main factor to explain the amphi-Atlantic distribution shown by this ancient subterranean crustacean group. Since there are species morphologically very similar to I. magna and I. imuniensis, but genetically different, we can ensure the existence of at least three cryptic species. Texanobathynella is undoubtedly a valid genus distinct from Iberobathynella. Montanabathynella and Parabathynella are two well-differentiated genera closely related to the Iberobathynellini tribe.
The forced swim test (FST) is a controversial rodent test that has been used for decades, mainly in depression studies. The severity of the procedure makes it ethically questionable and its validity has also been questioned. In this paper we contribute new data to this debate. We identified original research papers related to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), using rats as models. We compared the citations received by studies that used the FST and by studies that did not, within subsequent human medical papers. The results show that the number of citations received by both groups was very low, but in the papers describing the FST data the median citation number was zero. Citation analysis indicates that the FST is not contributing significantly to the understanding or cure of MDD. We briefly review other approaches that overcome the ethical limitations of the FST, and which might also surpass its efficacy.
Sport provides an arena for human flourishing. For some, this pursuit of a meaningful life through sport involves the use of non-human animals, not least of all through sport hunting. This paper will take seriously that sport – including sport hunting – can provide a meaningful arena for human flourishing. Additionally, it will accept for present purposes that animals are of less moral value than humans. This paper will show that, even accepting these premises, much use of animals for sport – including sport hunting – is unacceptable. Nonetheless it will show that there can be acceptable ways of using animals as part of a human’s meaningful life pursuits through sport, albeit in a more limited fashion than many sportspersons currently accept.
Welfare within zoos and aquariums has come under increasing scrutiny due to the change in public opinion of animals in captivity. It is vital that as an industry mechanisms and frameworks are in place to determine welfare of animals within our care. Due to potential bias in current welfare models toward terrestrial vertebrates, it is important to determine whether they can be utilised in differing environments such as aquariums. Using the most recent five domain model (Mellor, 2017) the possible application within public aquaria is discussed, considering each domain in respect to aquatic invertebrates, an often-neglected group of organisms when considering welfare in aquaria. This review highlights the additional considerations needed when applying the five domain model to this diverse group of organisms. Furthermore, the identification of gaps within the current literature is discussed in respect to whether the full five domain model can be currently be applied at this time.
An integrated approach using morphological and genetic data is needed to disentangle taxonomic uncertainties affecting the hydrozoan families Sphaerocorynidae and Zancleopsidae. Here we used this approach to accurately characterise species in these families, identify the previously unknown polyp stages of the genera Euphysilla and Zancleopsis, which were originally described exclusively based on the medusa stages, describe a new sphaerocorynid genus and species, and assess the phylogenetic position of the two families within the Capitata. The monotypic genus Astrocoryne was found to be a synonym of Zancleopsis. Astrocoryne cabela was therefore transferred to the genus Zancleopsis as Zancleopsis cabela comb. nov. The new polyp-based genus and species Kudacoryne diaphana gen. nov. sp. nov. was erected within the Sphaerocorynidae. Both taxa are primarily based on genetic data, but the introduction of this new genus was made necessary by the fact that it clustered with the genera Heterocoryne and Euphysilla, despite showing Sphaerocoryne-like polyps. Interestingly, the species analysed in this work showed contrasting biogeographical patterns. Based on our data and literature records, some species appear to have a wide circumtropical range, whereas others are limited to few localities. Overall, these results lay the ground for future investigations aimed at resolving the taxonomy and systematics of these two enigmatic families.
Horses form an integral part of Irish culture and heritage. COVID-19 restrictions have created challenges for living generally and for those who own and care-take animals. It is envisaged that risks may arise for equine welfare and many factors may contribute to it. The “Five Freedoms” have formed the basis for animal welfare legislation however, the “Five Domains Model” has progressed to provide a robust model built on scientific research. With advances in research and knowledge, welfare may be measured both physiologically and behaviourally. This study sought to investigate the impact, if any of COVID-19, on the welfare of sport and leisure horses in Ireland. An online survey was conducted to gather data regarding the welfare of sport and leisure horses in Ireland during COVID-19 restrictions. There were several positive findings and the majority of respondents (n = 69) felt that COVID-19 restrictions did not negatively affect the welfare of their horses.