Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enzyme Presence Could Be Key Factor In Wolf Health, Study Suggests

Date:
May 6, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Gray wolves roaming wild along Alaska's Yukon River have bigger hearts than their zoo-bound cousins in Minnesota, and some of the wild wolves carry an enzyme previously found only in dogs -- which raises questions about their overall health, researchers say.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Gray wolves roaming wild along Alaska's Yukon River have bigger hearts than their zoo-bound cousins in Minnesota, and some of the wild wolves carry an enzyme previously found only in dogs -- which raises questions about their overall health, researchers say.

Related Articles


These factors could be important components of a long-sought biological equation that defines normal health parameters of animal populations, said Peter Constable, a researcher in the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. The enzyme's presence also strengthens the domestic dog's theorized evolutionary link to gray wolves (Canis lupus), he said.

The enzyme discovery was published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. The heart comparison was reported in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. The companion studies looked at wolves that have lived sedentary lifestyles in captivity for two or more years in Minnesota and 11 free-ranging wolves in east central Alaska. The Alaskan wolves traveled an average of some 40 miles daily, including one overnight roam of 80 miles, during the observation-and-capture period.

"When you compare animals in zoos and wild populations to diagnose disease or prove their health, a biologist has to do certain things such as physical exams and blood tests," Constable said. "Then you have to compare their findings to a normal population. The real dilemma is, what is normal?" Is it the zoo population or a wild population? Which values are accurate?"

Three of the 11 wild wolves carried the slow-developing liver enzyme called corticosteroid-induced alkaline phosphatase, which U. of I. scientist Walter E. Hoffman previously had discovered in dogs and was believed to be unique to them. None of the captive wolves had the enzyme, which reflects long-term stress and indicates the presence of hepatic disease. Other U. of I. researchers, including doctoral student Charles E. Wiedmeyer, are studying the molecular qualities and mechanisms of the enzyme.

"In all likelihood, the three wild wolves carrying the enzyme are not healthy," Constable said. "If you are thinking of moving one of these enzyme-carrying dogs into another area to rebuild or reintroduce a population, it probably would not be a good idea."

Electrocardiograph exams on the populations revealed that the wild wolves had substantially larger hearts -- up to 2-1/2 times the size -- of those found in Minnesota's zoo wolves. Such differences were much larger than those reported between Alaskan sled dogs and inactive dogs, as well as those found between elite human endurance athletes and less active individuals.

Constable's team included Ken Hinchcliff of Ohio State University's department of veterinary clinical sciences. An Ohio State zoo-research program funded the work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "Enzyme Presence Could Be Key Factor In Wolf Health, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065537.htm>.
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. (1999, May 6). Enzyme Presence Could Be Key Factor In Wolf Health, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065537.htm
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "Enzyme Presence Could Be Key Factor In Wolf Health, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065537.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins