• VINOD KUMAR

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Mammalian gastrointestinal parasites in rainforest remnants of Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats, India

      Debapriyo Chakraborty Shaik Hussain D Mahendar Reddy Sachin Raut Sunil Tiwari Vinod Kumar Govindhaswamy Umapathy

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      Habitat fragmentation is postulated to be a major factor influencing infectious disease dynamics in wildlife populations and may also be responsible, at least in part, for the recent spurt in the emergence, or re-emergence, of infectious diseases in humans. The mechanism behind these relationships are poorly understood due to the lack of insights into the interacting local factors and insufficient baseline data in ecological parasitology of wildlife. Here, we studied the gastrointestinal parasites of nonhuman mammalian hosts living in 10 rainforest patches of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, India. We examined 349 faecal samples of 17 mammalian species and successfully identified 24 gastroin-testinal parasite taxa including 1 protozoan, 2 trematode, 3 cestode and 18 nematode taxa. Twenty of these parasites are known parasites of humans. We also found that as much as 73% of all infected samples were infected by multiple parasites. In addition, the smallest and most fragmented forest patches recorded the highest parasite richness; the pattern across fragments, however, seemed to be less straightforward, suggesting potential interplay of local factors.

    • Female conspecifics restore rhythmic singing behaviour in arrhythmic male zebra finches

      NEELU ANAND JHA VINOD KUMAR

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      The present study investigated whether pairing with a conspecific female would restore rhythmicity in the singingbehaviour of arrhythmic male songbirds. We recorded the singing and, as the circadian response indicator, monitoredthe activity–rest pattern in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) housed without or with a conspecific femaleunder 12 h light: 12 h darkness (12L:12D) or constant bright light (LLbright). Both unpaired and paired birds exhibiteda significant daily rhythm in the singing and activity behaviour, but paired birds, under 12L:12D, showed a ~2 hextension in the evening. Exposure to LLbright decayed rhythmicity, but the female presence restored rhythmic patternswithout affecting the 24 h song output. In the acoustic features, we found a significant difference in the motif durationbetween unpaired and paired male songs. Overall, these results demonstrated for the first time the role of the female inrestoring the circadian phenotype of singing behaviour in male songbirds with disrupted circadian functions, althoughhow interaction between sexes affects the circadian timing of male singing is not understood yet. It is suggested thatsocial cues rendered by a conspecific female could improve the circadian performance by restoring rhythmicity in thebiological functions of the cohabiting arrhythmic male partner.

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