first_imgSouthern elephant seals Mirounga leonina provide a unique opportunity for examination of parental investment because postpartum pup growth is fueled exclusively by energy from stored reserves in fasting mothers, and the seals are extremely sexually dimorphic as adults. We examined the influence of pup sex, maternal size, and other factors on the variation in postpartum maternal mass change and pup growth. Elephant seals (178 mothers and 445 pups) were weighed during four breeding periods at South Georgia Island. Maternal mass change during lactation increased markedly with the mass of the mother at parturition. Postpartum maternal mass accounted for 75% of the variation in mass loss and 62% of the variation of pup mass at weaning. Size of the pup at birth explained <4% of this variation, and the sex of the pup explained virtually none (<0.1%). The duration of lactation was positively correlated with the pstpartumo mass of mothers, but negatively correlated with the rate of maternal mass loss when corrected for the effect of maternal postpartum mass. Mothers giving birth late in the season had shorter lactation periods than those that gave birth early but seemed to compensate for this by increasing the rate of mass transfer. Average transfer efficiency (pup mass gain/maternal mass loss) was 46±0.5%. Mothers lost, on average, 35% of their postpartum mass during lactation and 40% during the whole breeding period. Females whose postpartum mass increased between seasons increased their expenditure on their pups; females whose postpartum mass decreased, decreased their expenditure. These data from mothers with single pups do not clarify whether differences in investment were controlled by mothers or their offspring. However on three occasions, study females raised two pups in a season. Despite the increased demand, these females did not increase their expenditure, suggesting that levels of investment are maternally controlled. These results show that levels of expenditure in southern elephant seals appear to be determined largely by a single variable: female mass at parturition.last_img read more

first_imgScoop Jardine’s numbers jump off the stat sheet in Syracuse’s 65-59 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday. Twenty-three points. But further down the line, another number is more telling for SU head coach Jim Boeheim of the state of his team — 21 shots. ‘Offensively we have to do better,’ Boeheim said. ‘The only guy that is getting a lot of shots is Scoop, and he has to find people. He probably has to take six or seven fewer shots and give it to people.’ The 23 points, some of which came at clutch moments, marked somewhat of a rebound game for Jardine off his scoreless performance against Cornell that came on 0-for-5 shooting from the floor. But the 21 shots were the other side, somewhat of a continuation of the Cornell game and his performance overall in the four games after his career night against Detroit. In those four games, he shot 9-of-42 (21.4 percent) from the floor. Hitting 7-of-21 from the field Saturday, Jardine shot just 33 percent. And that included just 25 percent (2-of-8) from beyond the 3-point line.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘I made some shots, and I was just being aggressive,’ Jardine said. ‘Keep trying to make plays. I think I could have settled in a little bit.’ Boeheim, however, defended the number of shots Jardine put up. To Boeheim, it’s just the reality of where his team stands right now. Kris Joseph was 3-of-12 from the floor. Brandon Triche shot the same percentage, going 2-of-8. Overall, Boeheim’s team lacks shooters. That, he said, puts more pressure on Jardine. ‘Scoop is taking a couple because he sees we’re not scoring,’ Boeheim said. ‘He is probably trying to force that action a little bit.’ Like most of the Orange on Saturday, Jardine came out of the gate on fire. He found his big men down low — Rick Jackson and Fab Melo — for easy layups and dunks in the first three-plus minutes. He followed that up later with two 3-pointers to give SU a 19-11 lead. But soon after, the struggles started. Even after his buzzer-beater at the end of the first half to give the Orange a 38-34 lead going into the locker room, he ran over to Boeheim, almost trying to excuse himself from taking a fadeaway jumper. And as Syracuse mounted its comeback down 53-49, Jardine hit two clutch free throws and drove in for a score. He also assisted a Jackson shot that gave SU the lead for good. But even for Jardine, that didn’t complete his performance Saturday. ‘Some of them,’ he said, when asked if he liked most of the shots he put up. ‘Some of them. A lot of them, I think going into the defense, I could have kicked to shooters. I’m going to do that next time.’ Wait… In Jim Boeheim’s words, two consecutive Scott Wood 3-pointers in the first half, which started the N.C. State comeback, came because Dion Waiters didn’t shift over in the zone. ‘Dion can make plays, he just can’t play defense,’ Boeheim said. ‘He left a guy open twice in a row. We had a 12-point lead to make a change and he did not get to the guy twice, and that can’t happen.’ After Wood made the second of those two 3-pointers to, in essence, cut SU’s lead in half, Boeheim was irate on Syracuse’s sideline and called a timeout. His eyes were on Waiters as the freshman guard strolled to the sidelines. But from Waiters’ mouth, Wood wasn’t his responsibility. ‘I didn’t leave him open,’ Waiters said. ‘That wasn’t my position. I take the transition guy.’ Whatever the case, Waiters and the rest of the SU defense shut down Wood after those two 3-pointers. Wood started 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. He finished the game 2-of-9. ‘We had to cheat out on him,’ Waiters said. ‘Spread the zone a little bit. We were able to get our big, key stops down the stretch. And we got the ‘W.” [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on December 5, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

first_img Accompanying the bouldering duo is a collection of effective and sedulous players, equally as motivated to write another exciting chapter in the book of Lithuanian basketball. Other notable names include Olympiacos forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Parma combo guard Adas Juskevicius, Rytas Vilnius’ forward Eimantas Bendzius and Lokomotiv Kuban guard Mantas Kalnietis.The team will be made up of an interesting mixture of veteran leadership and exciting young talent. The final roster is a result of 30 players taking part in qualifying games, with four of those players having played over 10 games to earn their spot.It is worth noting that veteran forward Jonas Maciulis and Arturas Gudaitis will be taking part, despite recent concerns around their fitness. Maciulis in particularly has been a linchpin for the national team since back in 2007.To the wider basketball world, the roster could be perceived as top heavy, but that would be doing the players who tore their way through qualifying – with only 2 appearances each from their two stars – an injustice.QualificationThe road to China for Lithuania was almost as smooth as it could have been, despite one minor bump in the road. They ripped their way through the first round of qualifiers, going 6-0 against Poland, Hungary and Kosovo – a team that fell to a 56-point loss in Klaipeda.In the second round, they entered Group J, which seemed to be more of a significant challenge for them, on paper. Still, they topped that group too, only losing one game, against Italy in Brescia back in November and even that was by a mere 5 points. To say that Lithuania made it out of the group unscathed would be an understatement, they were almost untouchable.Finishing with an impressive record of 11-1 for the entirety of qualification, they boast the joint-best record in Europe, alongside an excellent Greece outfit. Their ability to really hammer teams with points shows up in their point differential number, which ended as +197 for qualifying – also the highest in the continent.In their last three competitive fixtures, the Lithuanians have defeated Croatia, the Netherlands and Italy, in what was something of a revenge game. They will take a wealth of momentum into the competition, as they prepare to make a real statement on the game’s highest stage.GroupAlongside Senegal, Australia and Canada, the Lithuanians make up the widely discussed ‘group of death’. Frankly, there will be no easy games in Group H, which includes teams who are considered serious up-and-coming basketball nations.Lithuania possesses a staunch self-belief as a basketball team and that will have been helped by their highly encouraging qualification performance. They were not short of confidence heading into this dreaded group regardless, but with Canada’s squad affected by a flurry of major personnel dropouts and Australia now missing star player Ben Simmons, they will see their window of opportunity widening as the competition draws closer.Despite missing some of their more recognised names such as recent Boston Celtics signing Tacko Fall and Minnesota Timberwolves big Gorgui Dieng, Senegal are not a team to underestimate. In the second round of African Qualifiers, they finished Group F with a 10-2 record, second only to Nigeria.A talented Australian side finished atop their group in the Asian qualifiers, also with a 10-2 record and a flabbergasting point differential of +328. In a pure coincidence, Canada too finished their qualification campaign with only two losses and although affected by the aforementioned withdrawals, should be seen as a challenger for this Lithuanian side. Lithuania has an important history with the game of basketball. In what is now considered to be one of the most interesting world basketball stories, Lithuania earned a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, while the most famous international team in history picked up the gold. It was an extremely important competition for Lithuania, as it was the first Olympic games after the country regained independence from the Soviet Union; they were able to proudly play under their own flag in an event that transcended sport.One member of that tie-dye wearing, Grateful Dead sponsored team was the legendary Arvydas Sabonis – father of second-generation star Domantas. The younger Sabonis will be looking to create his own narrative at the World Cup and the 2020 Olympics and etch his own name in his country’s proud basketball tradition.As previously mentioned, the opportunity for success for this team is great. Other teams in their opening group are slowly becoming moving targets and if there is a contender prepared to attack, it’s Lithuania –  a basketball team who truly value the worth of international competition. RosterLet it be known, this Lithuania team is not travelling to China merely to take part. The goal is to place on the podium in at this World Cup, at the very least. This is a group brimming with ambition and with bona fide talent ready to overwhelm their opposition.Head Coach Dainius Adomaitis’ World Cup roster will go into battle with a pair of NBA stars in the shape of Memphis Grizzlies’ center Jonas Valanciunas and young Indiana Pacers big Domantas Sabonis on the frontline. In a tiny sample size during qualifying games, they showed how they earned their formidable reputation, by averaging 13 and 14.5 points per game respectively.center_img If any team is equipped to handle Lithuania’s size, it may just be Australia. Although the two are unlikely to share the court often, experienced, physically imposing big men Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut will be ready to battle under the basket. Both players are considered tough veterans and both also have an NBA championship to their name, which they earned in consecutive years for different teams. They know more than anybody what it takes to win on the highest stage. Look out for a hard-hitting matchup in the paint involving these four.Canada’s Cory Joseph is arguably the most talented guard in the group and possesses an ability to engage his teammates, thus producing a fluid style of play and encouraging effective ball movement. Lithuania will likely depend on Mantas Kalnietis to try to negate the Sacramento Kings star’s threat, through stubborn defensive play and some of his own playmaking.Against Australia, the loss of Ben Simmons does not provide the Lithuanians with free reign. The Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles will be on hand to offer a scoring threat, while veteran guard Patty Mills and defensive pest Matthew Dellavedova are potential problems in their own ways.Key StoriesDespite their unbelievable form in qualifying, Lithuania’s preparation hasn’t been completely perfect. In what could be a wake up call for them, in exhibitions games they were beaten by an excellent Serbia team, which includes Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, among others. Ricky Rubio and his Spanish teammates also handed them a loss, while they made light work of Finland just days later.This tournament seems particularly significant for Jonas Valanciunas. After being traded away from the Toronto Raptors and the new Canada head coach Nick Nurse, he now has an opportunity to show them what they are missing. Not too long ago, the 27-year-old was considered one of the most consistent big men in the league and in the 19 games in which he featured for Memphis last year, he averaged above his career average in both points (19.9) and rebounds (10.7). In China, he will be afforded an opportunity to prove to the world just how effective he can be, as he approaches his prime years. Should Lithuania manage to progress to the second stage of the competition, they will be hard-pressed to find more difficult opponents than they will face to open things up in this unenviable group, barring a few obvious contenders. If they can find a way out of the ‘group of death’, the idea of leaving China with a medal of some colour becomes all the more tangible. The potential pitfalls are there, as these teams will serve as stiff competition for the Lithuanians, but the rewards could be glorious.MatchupsWhen considering the standout matchups in this group for Lithuania, it’s hard to see past the big men. With Adomaitis hoping to take a twin-towers style approach to their play, they will attempt to overwhelm their opposition with sheer physicality inside and crafty interior play. Like his father before him, Sabonis can punish on mismatches and alongside veteran centre Valanciunas, they will force many teams to adapt, in order to stay afloat.last_img read more