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A partial skeleton of a black bear, Ursus americanus, was recovered from Quaternary deposits in Red Creek, Tonto National Forest, Arizona. The partially articulated skeleton was found in a fine, consolidated sandy-silt. The incomplete skeleton represents elements from the right side and is one of the more complete black bear skeletons from late Quaternary deposits in Arizona. The black bear is believed to be an adult male based on epiphyseal fusion and molar measurements. No cause of death could be determined from the elements recovered, and due to its preservation is believed to have been found in its original context, or had not been transported very far. The Red Creek bear indicates a continued presence of black bears from the late Quaternary to the present in central Arizona.
To improve the quality of undergraduate science education at Arizona State University's West campus, a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) class was implemented, in which students develop their own hypotheses, design experiments, and gather their own data to try to answer a research question. Three modules were developed, the first examined capsaicinoid content and of hot peppers, the second used wild bee and plant populations, and a third explored the suitability of using plants to remediate metal pollution in mine soils. The class has been successful in facilitating student participation in research and the presentation of their findings at conferences through talks and posters. Future development and expansion of the class is planned for the coming semesters to improve the class and make it available to significantly more students.
Ecological disturbance has often been used to explain the breakdown of reproductive isolation in closely related taxa, especially in North American toads (family Bufonidae). In the Southwest, impoundment construction has altered many riparian systems, and apparently resulted in recent sympatry and hybridization of Bufo (Anaxyrus) microscaphus (Arizona toad) and B. woodhousii (Woodhouse's toad). Our specific objective was to generate microsatellite data at eight highly polymorphic nuclear loci for populations of B. microscaphus, B. woodhousii and putative hybrids to evaluate the hybrid zone between these two anurans along the Agua Fria River near Phoenix, Arizona. The microsatellite loci characterized here were modified from microsatellites originally developed for the endangered arroyo toad, B. californicus. These eight highly polymorphic loci were tested on populations of B. microscaphus, B. woodhousii, and putative hybrids in the watershed of the Agua Fria River in Arizona, USA. All loci were highly variable among the 66 samples evaluated. Structure analysis indicated that K=2, suggesting that B. woodhousii and B. microscaphus were distinct with hybrid individuals present, and the F-statistics corroborate these findings. Finally, PCoA analysis separated the three groups of individuals into distinct clusters with little overlap between species but some overlap of hybrids with B. microcaphus. Our findings suggest that these nuclear markers are useful for future population genetic investigations in this group.
Skin cancer in humans has risen tremendously due to the increased exposure of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Solar UV-A (400-315 nm) and UV-B (315-280 nm) radiation are associated with skin cancer but can also disrupt the development of a variety of other metazoans. A third form of solar UVR, UV-C (280-100 nm), is largely absorbed by the atmosphere without complications to human health; however, man-made UV-C radiation is becoming increasingly prevalent as a replacement for chemical pesticides, insecticides, and germicides, as well as a catalyst to stimulate the degradation of toxic contaminants in aqueous environments. Man-made UV-C radiation is effective at killing arthropod pests at the embryonic stage, yet the effects of man-made UV-C on other developmental stages have not been fully explored. In this study, we use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the effects of UV-C exposure on the timing of larval development and resulting adult morphologies. Our results indicate that UV-C disrupts adult eclosion time and is associated with a variety of morphological defects. Investigating the effects of UV-C radiation on arthropod development may allow us to improve the efficacy of man-made UV-C as an alternative to chemical pesticides and increase knowledge of hazards associated with UV-C exposure in humans.