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These raise great flocks of animals and make their camps in plains of immeasurable extent. This region also breeds herds of elephants and other monstrous land animals, and animals of double shape which have developed peculiar forms; and in addition to these it abounds in domestic animals of every kind, especially in cattle and in the sheep with large and fat tails. With regard, then, to Arabia and the products of that land, even if we have written at too great length, we have at any rate reported many things to delight lovers of reading.

Now at first he and one of his fellow-captives were appointed to be herdsmen, but later he and his companion were made captive by certain Ethiopians and led off to the coast of Ethiopia. For among the Ethiopians who lived in that place there was a custom, which had been handed down from ancient times, and had been ratified by oracles of the gods, over a period of twenty generations or six hundred years, the generation being reckoned at thirty years; and at the time when the purification by means of the two men was to take place, a boat had been built for them sufficient in size and strong enough to withstand the storms at sea, one which could easily be manned by two men; and then loading it with food enough to maintain two men for six months and putting them on board they commanded them to set out to sea as the oracle had ordered.

And in like manner, they stated, their own people, in case the men whom they sent forth should arrive safely at the island, would enjoy peace and a happy life in every respect throughout six hundred years; but if, dismayed at the extent of the sea, they should turn back on their course they would, as impious men and destroyers of the entire nation, suffer the severest penalties.

There is absolutely no hair on any part of their bodies except on the head, eyebrows and eyelids, and on the chin, but the other parts of the body are so smooth that not even the least down can be seen on them. The openings of their ears are much more spacious than ours and growths have developed that serve as valves, so to speak, to close them. And the most remarkable thing of all is that at one and the same time they can converse perfectly with two persons who fall in with them, both answering questions and discoursing pertinently on the circumstances of the moment; for with one division of the tongue they can converse with the one person, and likewise with the other talk with the second.

Moreover, the fruits in their island ripen throughout the entire year, even as the poet writes, 72 Here pear on pear grows old, and apple close On apple, yea, and clustered grapes on grapes, And fig on fig. And with them the day is always the same length as the night, and at midday no shadow is cast of any object because the sun is in the zenith.

Nor do they write their lines horizontally, as we do, but from the top to the bottom perpendicularly. And the inhabitants, they tell us, are extremely long-lived, living even to the age of one hundred and fifty years, and experiencing for the most part no illness. Consequently, since there is no rivalry among them, they never experience civil disorders and they never cease placing the highest value upon internal harmony.

It also has beneath it all around its body many feet, by means of which it can move in whatever direction it pleases. And as for the stars of our heavens, the Bears and many more, we are informed, are not visible at all.

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The number of these islands was seven, and they are very much the same in size and at about equal distances from one another, and all follow the same customs and laws. Meat and whatever else is roasted or boiled in water are prepared by them, but all the other dishes ingeniously concocted by professional cooks, such as sauces and the various kinds of seasonings, they have no notion whatsoever. Snakes also, we are told, which are of immense size and yet do no harm to the inhabitants, have a meat which is edible and exceedingly sweet.

As for the animals of the islands, their natures are peculiar and so amazing as to defy credence. The reeds, they say, from which the fruit for their nourishment is derived, being a span in thickness increase at the times of full-moon and again decrease proportionately as it wanes. Consequently, after they had again fitted out their little boat they were compelled to take their leave, and when they had stored up provisions in it they continued their voyage for more than four months. But for our part, since we have fulfilled the promise made at the beginning of this Book, we shall bring it to a conclusion at this point.

Strabo, 2. From that use of the verb, prae-cox , literally "early cooked" — from which English and other languages get precocious and apricot — the fruit that ripens earlier than others in its family. But Alexander did not reach the river system of the Ganges, the error being due to a confusion of the Ganges with the Sutlej, a tributary of the Indus; cp. Strabo So the Indians, in this case, were in the second stage of this evolution; Dionysus, as is stated below, combines the villages into cities and thus makes the good life possible. Zeus covered the babe in his thigh until it came to maturity.

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There is no agreement among modern writers on the location of Meros. Strabo, For a slightly different account, cp.

Book II, 35‑60 (end)

When raised in indoor cages, Rhesus monkeys exhibit increased rates of obesity, with some of them developing obesity-associated diseases [ 59 — 61 ]. Captive macaques display obesity in an age-dependent manner when given food ad libitum [ 62 ]. Like humans, these monkeys develop type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications. It is likely that reduced exercise increases the risk of obesity in these monkeys [ 62 — 64 ].

Spontaneous obesity is also found in wild baboons and in a pedigreed colony [ 65 — 67 ] and occurs in free-ranging rhesus monkeys [ 68 ]. Furthermore, a species of Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, develops obesity without frank diabetes [ 69 ].

Animal Peculiarity volume 2 part 8 by T P Just, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Genetic models provide useful information about the biology of obesity in humans. This does not mean, however, that these models can provide information on how obesity can cause other health problems. In this section, we introduce several animal models for analyzing human obesity-associated disease pathology. Type 2 diabetes is associated with insulin resistance and is one of the most common metabolic diseases. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased in the past two decades, coinciding with the epidemic of obesity.

The pathogenesis of insulin resistance and diabetes-associated complications remains unclear. Research on type 2 diabetes using animal models of obesity is therefore quite significant. Models of obesity with type 2 diabetes are classified into two categories: Obesity in these models is due to leptin signaling deficiency.

These rodent models exhibit microvascular complications similar to humans, such as diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy, and provide important models for testing experimental therapeutics.


Polygenic models of obesity with diabetes may provide more insight to the human condition. Certain inbred strains of mice exhibit remarkable obesity when fed on HFD, whereas others remain lean [ 48 , 49 , 73 ], suggesting gene-diet interactions. Furthermore, some of the strains exhibit obesity with severe insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, whereas others are highly sensitive to insulin-mediated glucose uptake and are resistant to the onset of diabetes Table 1 [ 50 , 74 , 75 ]. In contrast, some strains are very prone to type 2 diabetes but not severely obese.

Obesity in humans is associated with the incidence of several cancers. Likewise, type 2 diabetes has been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the interaction between obesity and cancer development, including the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, increased insulin resistance, elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 IGF-1 , and increased production of sex steroid hormones and adipocytokines [ 76 — 80 ]. However, clear molecular mechanisms that explain obesity-associated cancer have yet to be determined.

Recently, Park et al. Furthermore, HFD induced the growth of subcutaneously injected HCC, suggesting that obesity has a systemic effect on tumorigenesis [ 81 ]. With regard to the mechanisms of tumorigenesis in obesity, they found that obesity is associated with increased intracellular transcriptional factor STAT signaling and liver inflammation [ 81 ].


Metformin belongs to the biguanide class of antitype 2 diabetic drugs. Accumulating evidence suggests that metformin reduces cancer incidence in type 2 diabetic patients. Metformin treatment has been shown to result in a gene expression profile similar to that of long-term caloric restriction [ 87 ], which can reduce the incidence of many age-related diseases, including cancer [ 88 , 89 ]. Metformin treatment inhibits high-energy diet-stimulated colon cancer cell growth [ 90 ] and breast tumor growth in HFD-fed mice but did not inhibit tumor growth in mice fed normal chow [ 91 ].

Although the effects of metformin in obesity-related cancer biology are not clear, these reports suggest that the tumor suppressive effect of metformin may involve the amelioration of a systemic metabolic profile associated with a high-energy diet and obesity. Elevated leptin levels, often found in obesity, may affect cancer cell growth. Recently, Ribeiro et al. In contrast, Gonzalez et al. Similar leptin-induced proliferation and invasiveness has been shown in endometrial cancer [ 95 ].

The reports regarding the role of leptin in carcinogenesis are still very controversial and require further followup studies. Obstructive sleep apnea OSA is an important obesity-associated health problem that is characterized by obstruction of the airway and depletion of oxygen tone in the blood. OSA may be associated with the onset of hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Although OSA is of clinical importance, the etiology of OSA is not yet clear, perhaps due to the lack of appropriate animal models. The first animal model reported to exhibit sleep apnea was the English bulldog [ 97 ]. These animals exhibit respiration disorders and decreased O 2 saturation that worsen during rapid-eye-movement sleep.

Two varieties of obese pigs were also found to be good models of OSA [ 98 , 99 ]. Although these models provide important information about the pathomechanisms of OSA, large-animal-based research is technically difficult. Therefore, for the development of experimental therapies and drugs, rodent models are superior. In , Van Lunteren et al. Later, this model was found to exhibit sleep apnea syndrome [ ].

ZFRs have since been used for various experimental therapies and have provided important information about OSA [ — ]. Although these dog, pig, and rat models help improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of OSA, mouse models are critical in identifying the genes conferring disease risk [ ]. Thus, most breeders seek to take the opportunity of the foal heat, being aware that during this heat mares ovulate quickly, conception rates are lower and early embryonic mortality rate is higher [ 8 ].

This wide time range until the birth of the foals indicates that mares may be highly susceptible to both internal and external factors afecting the duration of the pregnancy [ 29 ]. Studies focusing the stallion used on coverings also deserve special attention when studying the pregnancy period in mares. This is because when a mare is bred late in a breeding season, yet the owner wants to mate her during this season, choosing a stallion associated with shorter pregnancy durations may be profitable [ 28 ]. Working with horses in the northern hemisphere [ 30 ] observed that the mating season was the most important factor affecting the duration of pregnancy in mares.

According to these authors, the pregnancies that derived from mating during the period from December to May were Studying Arab mares in Egypt, [ 31 ] observed that pregnancies with longer durations were the ones that ended in the winter, suggesting that the mares seem to be able to adapt the length of the gestation so the births happen in spring, which may be important for the survival of the species in the wild. Regardless of the discrepancy between studies and breeds, mares have a relatively long gestation period compared to other domestic species such as cattle days , goats days , sheep days , pigs days and buffalo days.

Furthermore, as a uniparous species, twins or multiple are rare in mares, incidence varying from 0. Although reproductive technologies artificial insemination and embryo transfer make possible different practical advantages such as lower disease and injury transmission, long-term storage of genetic material, easier transportation, earlier onset of reproduction in females and, in the case of embryo transfer, reproduction during the sports career, in the context of animal breeding they are usually considered additional tools to optimize breeding programs [ 5 ].

The commercial impact of these techniques in horses varies greatly. For example, in Thoroughbred horses meant for racing, the use of artificial insemination [1] - "The fecundation of mares can only be made by direct sexual contact, not admitting artificial insemination, but may exceptionally be authorized by the Brazilian Stud Book, by virtue of proven physical impairment of the player, the use of immediate reinforcement with fresh semen collected during the coverage. In , 5, embryos were transferred in Brazil, none frozen, while across Europe only transfers were done in horses [ 39 ].

In this context, it is observed that, although several countries present a prominent role in the worldwide scenario with respect to the use of these reproductive biotechniques, especially embryo transfer, there are few studies about their impact generation interval, accuracy, selective intensity, inbreeding on horses breeding programs. Research in this subject would be important to understand the direction that has been given to these tools in different countries and monitor their actual benefit for the horse population. A fundamental requirement for any breeding scheme aiming the improvement of quantitative traits is the establishment of the breeding objectives, involving the relative values of genetic change for all desirable features included in the breeding program.

Typically, these values are expressed in monetary terms as weights to be applied to each feature of economic importance [ 40 ]. However, few scientific studies have been performed in order to obtain economic weights for traits involved in horse selection programs, were a combination of empirical experience, some biological factors and intuition of designers prevail. There are a few reasons for that. Economically quantifying units for traits such as speed, dressage, jumping, etc. The long period of time between mating and expressig the traits of interest in the progeny, besides the difficulties in determining an appropriate function for profitability, provide part of this deficiency.

Moreover, according to recent authors, another problem arises from the fact that not always the relative economic weights are linear in a breeding program. Thus, the amount of increase in the genotype for certain character can be strongly dependent on the values of other genetic traits. For example, in horses with outstanding ability to jump, the additional genetic values affecting their training capability is almost neglected, whereas in animals with a low ability to jump, a genotype corresponding to training characteristics can greatly increase its value. There are equine breeds that are commonly selected by breeder in only one direction, as is the case of the Thoroughbred, where the objective is basically to obtain animals with superior performance in races.

In Quarter horses, in addition to races, performance in work tests and conformation may also be targets of breeders since the race is subdivided amongst these strains. Moreover, in breeds in which animals are involved in a wide variety of uses work on farms, horseback riding, trekking, exhibitions, equine therapy, equestrian tourism, unskilled riding sports, etc. Brazilian breeds such as the Mangalarga and the Mangalarga Marchador fall into this category. In these cases, studies involving quantitative and molecular aspects of traits that can meet the desire for the greater proportion of breeders can result in meaningful contributions to selection of reproductive, behavioral, immunological and other traits.

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Built by scientists, for scientists. Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. Downloaded: Introduction There are approximately 60 million horses in the world, most of them living in America, Asia and some European countries. Horse breeding The expression "improvement of equine species," according to [ 3 ] dates back to the French articles about horses and donkeys in the "Histoire Naturelle" by Buffon in Some advantages and difficulties in horse breeding Comparing to other farm animal species, there are some advantages and difficulties specifically related to researches on horse breeding, when quantitative genetics principles are used.

The advantages are fundamentally the amount of performance information and pedigree extension. The depth of the genealogy in most breeds is high Traditionally, horse breeders associations consider the "pedigree" as a key factor to select their animals, so that in most of them, herd control is efficient.

Economic important traits can generally be measured in both genders. Economic important traits can usually be measured repeatedly in short time periods. Inherent to the species Low reproductive rates Since the early ancestors emerged from 55 to 60 million years ago, horses are adapting in order to develop a reproduction model that ensures survivability in the wild, adopting different reproductive strategies to ensure that their progeny are born in the appropriate time of year [ 7 ].