Early castration of male small ruminants is regarded as a risk factor for urolithiasis, although the underlying correlations are still unclear. One possible reason is a deferred development of the penis and the urethra after castration. Therefore, we examined the penis and urethra of castrated and intact lambs by ultrasonography to determine the correlation between urethral area and pe- nile cross-sectional area. Ultrasonography was performed in 6-month-old Lacaune crossbred lambs (early castrated, late castrated, and intact; each group, n = 11). Sectional images at 5 loca- tions (glans penis, penile urethra, distal and proximal sigmoid flexure, and ischial arch) were ob- tained to determine the urethral and penile diameters. Urethral and penile cross-sectional areas were calculated. Grey-scale analysis of ultrasound images was performed to evaluate possible differences in the penile texture between the groups. Correlation analyses between both cross-sectional areas showed a significant general correlation for location 2 in all lambs (R = 0.52; P = 0.003), for location 3 in late-castrated lambs, and for location 5 in early-castrated lambs. Statistically significant correlations between the penile and the urethral area of castrated and intact lambs were not evident. Therefore, measurement of the penile cross-sectional area alone does not allow for accurate estimation of urethral size. Statistically significant differences con- cerning the grey-scale analysis between the groups were also not detectable. Thus, simplification of the formerly presented ultrasonographic examination of the urethra is not recommended. In animals at a risk of obstructive urolithiasis, complete urethral examina- tion is essential.
On the basis of about 12500 depth measurements of which 6700 were taken from r/v Profesor Siedlecki, 1300 from r/v Polarstern and the remainder from British navigation charts, a bathymetric chart of the Bransfield Strait in the scale 1:500 000 has been prepared. Within the assumed boundaries the total area of the Bransfield Strait covers 65308.6 square kilometres, of which the Western Basin covers 23.5%, Central Basin — 47.3%, and Eastern Basin 29.2%. Capacity of the whole Bransfield Strait amounts to 38451 km3 . The average depth of the Bransfield Strait is 592 m.
Morphological description of seeds is a required step for analysis of biodiversity in natural populations and may give clues to adaptive strategies in species evolution. A cardioid is the curve described by a point of one circumference rolling around another circumference of equal radius. Models based on adjustment of seed shape with cardioid curves have been described for Arabidopsis thaliana and the model legumes Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula. In this work the model is applied to analyze seed morphology in populations of two subspecies of Capparis spinosa growing in Tunisia. Adjustment of seed images to cardioid curves, followed by statistical analysis of similarity in the complete images as well as in each of four quadrants, allows an accurate description of seed shape. The results show differences in morphology between subspecies. Seeds of subsp. rupestris present higher diversity of shape than seeds of subsp. spinosa. This may indicate primitiveness of C. subsp. rupestris seeds, associated with nonspecialization. The results are discussed in relation to the ecological strategies of both subspecies in their evolution.