The phylogenetic significance of the morphology of the syrinx, hyoid and larynx, of the southern cassowary, Casuarius casuarius (Aves, Palaeognathae).
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Palaeognathae is a basal clade within Aves and include the large and flightless ratites and the smaller, volant tinamous. Although much research has been conducted on various aspects of palaeognath morphology, ecology, and evolutionary history, there are still areas which require investigation. This study aimed to fill gaps in our knowledge of the Southern Cassowary, Casuarius casuarius, for which information on the skeletal systems of the syrinx, hyoid and larynx is lacking - despite these structures having been recognised as performing key functional roles associated with vocalisation, respiration and feeding. Previous research into the syrinx and hyoid have also indicated these structures to be valuable for determining evolutionary relationships among neognath taxa, and thus suggest they would also be informative for palaeognath phylogenetic analyses, which still exhibits strong conflict between morphological and molecular trees. RESULTS:The morphology of the syrinx, hyoid and larynx of C. casuarius is described from CT scans. The syrinx is of the simple tracheo-bronchial syrinx type, lacking specialised elements such as the pessulus; the hyoid is relatively short with longer ceratobranchials compared to epibranchials; and the larynx is comprised of entirely cartilaginous, standard avian anatomical elements including a concave, basin-like cricoid and fused cricoid wings. As in the larynx, both the syrinx and hyoid lack ossification and all three structures were most similar to Dromaius. We documented substantial variation across palaeognaths in the skeletal character states of the syrinx, hyoid, and larynx, using both the literature and novel observations (e.g. of C. casuarius). Notably, new synapomorphies linking Dinornithiformes and Tinamidae are identified, consistent with the molecular evidence for this clade. These shared morphological character traits include the ossification of the cricoid and arytenoid cartilages, and an additional cranial character, the articulation between the maxillary process of the nasal and the maxilla. CONCLUSION:Syrinx, hyoid and larynx characters of palaeognaths display greater concordance with molecular trees than do other morphological traits. These structures might therefore be less prone to homoplasy related to flightlessness and gigantism, compared to typical morphological traits emphasised in previous phylogenetic studies.
Project description:The tongue, with fleshy, muscular, and bony components, is an innovation of the earliest land-dwelling vertebrates with key functions in both feeding and respiration. Here, we bring together evidence from preserved hyoid elements from dinosaurs and outgroup archosaurs, including pterosaurs, with enhanced contrast x-ray computed tomography data from extant taxa. Midline ossification is a key component of the origin of an avian hyoid. The elaboration of the avian tongue includes the evolution of multiple novel midline hyoid bones and a larynx suspended caudal to these midline elements. While variable in dentition and skull shape, most bird-line archosaurs show a simple hyoid structure. Bony, or well-mineralized, hyoid structures in dinosaurs show limited modification in response to dietary shifts and across significant changes in body-size. In Dinosauria, at least one such narrow, midline element is variably mineralized in some basal paravian theropods. Only in derived ornithischians, pterosaurs and birds is further significant hyoid elaboration recorded. Furthermore, only in the latter two taxa does the bony tongue structure include elongation of paired hyobranchial elements that have been associated in functional studies with hyolingual mobility. Pterosaurs and enantiornithine birds achieve similar elongation and inferred mobility via elongation of ceratobranchial elements while within ornithurine birds, including living Aves, ossified and separate paired epibranchial elements (caudal to the ceratobranchials) confer an increase in hyobranchial length. The mobile tongues seen in living birds may be present in other flighted archosaurs showing a similar elongation. Shifts from hypercarnivory to more diverse feeding ecologies and diets, with the evolution of novel locomotor strategies like flight, may explain the evolution of more complex tongue function.
Project description:Palaeognathae represent one of the two basal lineages in modern birds, and comprise the volant (flighted) tinamous and the flightless ratites. Resolving palaeognath phylogenetic relationships has historically proved difficult, and short internal branches separating major palaeognath lineages in previous molecular phylogenies suggest that extensive incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) might have accompanied a rapid ancient divergence. Here, we investigate palaeognath relationships using genome-wide data sets of three types of noncoding nuclear markers, together totaling 20,850 loci and over 41 million base pairs of aligned sequence data. We recover a fully resolved topology placing rheas as the sister to kiwi and emu + cassowary that is congruent across marker types for two species tree methods (MP-EST and ASTRAL-II). This topology is corroborated by patterns of insertions for 4274 CR1 retroelements identified from multispecies whole-genome screening, and is robustly supported by phylogenomic subsampling analyses, with MP-EST demonstrating particularly consistent performance across subsampling replicates as compared to ASTRAL. In contrast, analyses of concatenated data supermatrices recover rheas as the sister to all other nonostrich palaeognaths, an alternative that lacks retroelement support and shows inconsistent behavior under subsampling approaches. While statistically supporting the species tree topology, conflicting patterns of retroelement insertions also occur and imply high amounts of ILS across short successive internal branches, consistent with observed patterns of gene tree heterogeneity. Coalescent simulations and topology tests indicate that the majority of observed topological incongruence among gene trees is consistent with coalescent variation rather than arising from gene tree estimation error alone, and estimated branch lengths for short successive internodes in the inferred species tree fall within the theoretical range encompassing the anomaly zone. Distributions of empirical gene trees confirm that the most common gene tree topology for each marker type differs from the species tree, signifying the existence of an empirical anomaly zone in palaeognaths.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to characterize the swallowing sound and identify the process of sound generation during swallowing in young healthy adults.Thirty-three healthy volunteers were enrolled and allocated into three experimental groups. In experiment 1, a microphone was attached to one of eight cervical sites in 20 subjects, participants swallowed 5 ml water, and the sound waveform was recorded. In experiment 2, 10 subjects swallowed either 0, 5, 10, or 15 ml water during audio recording. In addition, participants consumed the 5 ml bolus in two different cervical postures. In experiment 3, the sound waveform and videofluoroscopy were simultaneously recorded while the three participants consumed 5 ml iopamidol solution. The duration and peak intensity ratio of the waveform were analyzed in all experimental groups.The acoustic analysis of the waveforms and videofluoroscopy suggested that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods, each associated with a stage of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising posterior tongue and hyoid bone movement; the pharyngeal phase comprising larynx movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and passage of the bolus through the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the return of the hyoid bone and larynx to their resting positions, and reopening of the epiglottis.Acoustic analysis of swallowing sounds and videofluoroscopy suggests that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods associated with each process of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising the posterior movement of the tongue and hyoid bone; the pharyngeal phase comprising the laryngeal movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and the bolus passage to the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the repositioning of the hyoid bone and larynx, and reopening of the epiglottis.
Project description:The unique avian vocal organ, the syrinx, is located at the caudal end of the trachea. Although a larynx is also present at the opposite end, birds phonate only with the syrinx. Why only birds evolved a novel sound source at this location remains unknown, and hypotheses about its origin are largely untested. Here, we test the hypothesis that the syrinx constitutes a biomechanical advantage for sound production over the larynx with combined theoretical and experimental approaches. We investigated whether the position of a sound source within the respiratory tract affects acoustic features of the vocal output, including fundamental frequency and efficiency of conversion from aerodynamic energy to sound. Theoretical data and measurements in three bird species suggest that sound frequency is influenced by the interaction between sound source and vocal tract. A physical model and a computational simulation also indicate that a sound source in a syringeal position produces sound with greater efficiency. Interestingly, the interactions between sound source and vocal tract differed between species, suggesting that the syringeal sound source is optimized for its position in the respiratory tract. These results provide compelling evidence that strong selective pressures for high vocal efficiency may have been a major driving force in the evolution of the syrinx. The longer trachea of birds compared to other tetrapods made them likely predisposed for the evolution of a syrinx. A long vocal tract downstream from the sound source improves efficiency by facilitating the tuning between fundamental frequency and the first vocal tract resonance.
Project description:A comprehensive description of the spectral characteristics of retinal photoreceptors in palaeognaths is lacking. Moreover, controversy exists with respect to the spectral sensitivity of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) opsin-based visual pigment expressed in one type of single cone: previous microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements in the ostrich (Struthio camelus) suggested a violet-sensitive (VS) SWS1 pigment, but all palaeognath SWS1 opsin sequences obtained to date (including the ostrich) imply that the visual pigment is ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS). In this study, MSP was used to measure the spectral properties of visual pigments and oil droplets in the retinal photoreceptors of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Results show that the emu resembles most other bird species in possessing four spectrally distinct single cones, as well as double cones and rods. Four cone and a single rod opsin are expressed, each an orthologue of a previously identified pigment. The SWS1 pigment is clearly UVS (wavelength of maximum absorbance [?max] = 376 nm), with key tuning sites (Phe86 and Cys90) consistent with other vertebrate UVS SWS1 pigments. Palaeognaths would appear, therefore, to have UVS SWS1 pigments. As they are considered to be basal in avian evolution, this suggests that UVS is the most likely ancestral state for birds. The functional significance of a dedicated UVS cone type in the emu is discussed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques to image the larynx have evolved rapidly into a promising and safe imaging modality, without need for sedation or ionizing radiation. MRI is therefore of great interest to image pediatric laryngeal diseases. Our aim was to review MRI developments relevant for the pediatric larynx and to discuss future imaging options. METHODS:A systematic search was conducted to identify all morphological and diagnostic studies in which MRI was used to image the pediatric larynx, laryngeal disease, or vocal cords. RESULTS:Fourteen articles were included: three studies on anatomical imaging of the larynx, two studies on Diffusion Weighted Imaging, four studies on vocal cord imaging and five studies on the effect of anaesthesiology on the pediatric larynx. MRI has been used for pediatric laryngeal imaging since 1991. MRI provides excellent soft tissue contrast and good visualization of vascular diseases such as haemangiomas. However, visualization of cartilaginous structures, with varying ossification during childhood, and tissue differentiation remain challenging. The latter has been partly overcome with diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), differentiating between benign and malignant masses with excellent sensitivity (94-94.4%) and specificity (91.2-100%). Vocal cord imaging evolved from static images focused on vocal tract growth to dynamic images able to detect abnormal vocal cord movement. CONCLUSION:MRI is promising to evaluate the pediatric larynx, but studies using MRI as diagnostic imaging modality are scarce. New static and dynamic MR imaging techniques could be implemented in the pediatric population. Further research on imaging of pediatric laryngeal diseases should be conducted.
Project description:Reduced range of hyoid and laryngeal movement is thought to contribute to aspiration risk and pharyngeal residues in dysphagia. Our aim was to determine the extent to which movements of the hyoid and larynx are correlated in the superior and anterior directions in swallowing, and whether movement range is predictive of penetration-aspiration or pharyngeal residue.Prospective, single-blind study of penetration-aspiration and pharyngeal residue with objective frame-by-frame measures of hyoid and laryngeal excursion from videofluoroscopy.Tertiary hospital and rehabilitation teaching hospital.Twenty-eight participants referred for videofluoroscopy: 13 women, aged 57-77; 15 men, aged 54-70. Individuals with known neurodegenerative diseases or prior surgery to the neck were excluded. Each swallowed three boluses of 40% w/v thin liquid barium suspension.Two speech-language pathologists independently rated penetration-aspiration, vallecular and pyriform sinus residue. Cervical spine length, hyoid and laryngeal displacement were traced frame-by-frame. Predictive power was calculated.Cervical spine length was significantly greater in men. Hyoid displacement ranged from 34-63% of the C2-4 distance. Arytenoid displacement ranged from 18-66%, with significantly smaller anterior displacement in men. Positive hyoid-laryngeal movement correlations in both axes were the most common pattern observed. Participants with reduced displacement ranges (? first quartile) and with abnormal correlation patterns were more likely to display penetration-aspiration. Those with reduced anterior hyoid displacement and abnormal correlation patterns had a greater risk of post-swallow pharyngeal residues.It is difficult for clinicians to make on-line appraisals of the extent to which hyoid and laryngeal movement may be contributing to functional swallowing consequences during videofluoroscopy. This study suggests that it is most important for clinicians to discern whether reduced anterior displacement of these structures is contributing to a patient's swallowing impairment. Measures of structural displacement in thin liquid swallowing should be corrected for variations in participant height. Reductions in anterior hyoid and laryngeal movement below the first-quartile boundaries are statistically associated with increased risk for penetration-aspiration and post-swallow residues.
Project description:The principal physical mechanism of sound generation is similar in songbirds and humans, despite large differences in their vocal organs. Whereas vocal fold dynamics in the human larynx are well characterized, the vibratory behaviour of the sound-generating labia in the songbird vocal organ, the syrinx, is unknown. We present the first high-speed video records of the intact syrinx during induced phonation. The syrinx of anaesthetized crows shows a vibration pattern of the labia similar to that of the human vocal fry register. Acoustic pulses result from short opening of the labia, and pulse generation alternates between the left and right sound sources. Spontaneously calling crows can also generate similar pulse characteristics with only one sound generator. Airflow recordings in zebra finches and starlings show that pulse tone sounds can be generated unilaterally, synchronously or by alternating between the two sides. Vocal fry-like dynamics therefore represent a common production mechanism for low-frequency sounds in songbirds. These results also illustrate that complex vibration patterns can emerge from the mechanical properties of the coupled sound generators in the syrinx. The use of vocal fry-like dynamics in the songbird syrinx extends the similarity to this unusual vocal register with mammalian sound production mechanisms.
Project description:Swallowing impairment is a common complication in various geriatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Swallowing kinematic analysis is essential to quantitatively evaluate the swallowing motion of the oropharyngeal structures. This study aims to develop a novel swallowing kinematic analysis software, called spatio-temporal analyzer for motion and physiologic study (STAMPS), and verify its validity and reliability.STAMPS was developed in MATLAB, which is one of the most popular platforms for biomedical analysis. This software was constructed to acquire, process, and analyze the data of swallowing motion. The target of swallowing structures includes bony structures (hyoid bone, mandible, maxilla, and cervical vertebral bodies), cartilages (epiglottis and arytenoid), soft tissues (larynx and upper esophageal sphincter), and food bolus. Numerous functions are available for the spatiotemporal parameters of the swallowing structures. Testing for validity and reliability was performed in 10 dysphagia patients with diverse etiologies and using the instrumental swallowing model which was designed to mimic the motion of the hyoid bone and the epiglottis.The intra- and inter-rater reliability tests showed excellent agreement for displacement and moderate to excellent agreement for velocity. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the measured and instrumental reference values were nearly 1.00 (P < 0.001) for displacement and velocity. The Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement between the measurements and the reference values.STAMPS provides precise and reliable kinematic measurements and multiple practical functionalities for spatiotemporal analysis. The software is expected to be useful for researchers who are interested in the swallowing motion analysis.
Project description:Solitary plasmacytoma (SP) is an extremely rare form of hematologic malignancy that can be classified as solitary bone plasmacytoma or solitary extramedullary plasmacytoma. Here, we report a patient who presented with progressive shortness of breath and foreign body sensation in his throat. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) demonstrated an abnormal FDG-avid soft tissue mass arising from the larynx involving the cricoid cartilage without additional suspicious lesions. Histology revealed an abundance of plasma cells; immunohistochemistry was positive for CD138 expression and lambda chains, and negative for CD20. Comprehensive imaging studies and panendoscopy of the ENT tract confirmed solitary disease involvement. Following additional systemic work-up, a diagnosis of extramedullary plasmacytoma was rendered. The patient underwent definitive radiotherapy using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (total dose of 46?Gy, divided in 23 fractions of 200?cGy). Serial PET/CT showed the stepwise resolution of abnormal FDG uptake and resolution of the cricoid cartilage lesion. With 22?months of follow-up, the patient remains free of disease. We describe the rare case of SP presenting as a FDG-avid hypermetabolic soft tissue mass in the cricoid cartilage, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of laryngeal tumors. Of note, SP is radiosensitive; favorable outcome can be expected once treated with doses of 40-50?Gy. FDG PET/CT is helpful in diagnosis and response assessment for this disease.