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Journal of Morphology

Zhi-Wei Gong, Xin-Peng Fan, Rui Ma, Bing Ni
Ciliated protists can form cysts to resist unfavorable environmental conditions and then excyst when environmental conditions become favorable. This study used electron and light microscopy to investigate the structure of vegetative cells and resting cysts, as well as the encysting and excysting processes of Diophrys oligothrix. For the first time, ampules were revealed beneath the pellicle in the genus Diophrys, and their extrusome types differed between Diophrys species. Membrane-packed discs of diverse shapes were found in the cytoplasm just beneath the pellicle around the cytopharynx and were separated by rows of microtubule units...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Kathy Jacyniak, Matthew K Vickaryous
Although the contractile function of the heart is universally conserved, the organ itself varies in structure across species. This variation includes the number of ventricular chambers (one, two, or an incompletely divided chamber), the structure of the myocardial wall (compact or trabeculated), and the proliferative capacity of the resident cardiomyocytes. Whereas zebrafish is capable of comparatively high rates of constitutive cardiomyocyte proliferation, humans and rodents are not. However, for most species, the capacity to generate new cardiomyocytes under homeostatic conditions remains unclear...
September 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Shirel R Kahane-Rapport, Jeremy A Goldbogen
Body length is one of the most important factors that influence organismal function and ecological niche. Although larger animals tend to have a suite of physiological advantages, such as lower mass-specific metabolic rates and lower costs of transport, they may also experience significant limitations to unsteady locomotor performance or maneuverability because of the relative scaling of control surface areas and body mass. Rorqual whales are the largest of all animals and thus represent a unique study system for understanding how animals function at the extreme of body mass...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Gilberto Grandi, Gianni Astolfi, Milvia Chicca, Marco Pezzi
Spermatogenesis was investigated in the Adriatic sturgeon, Acipenser naccarii, by light and electron microscopy. The testis of the unrestricted type had a germinal compartment composed of lobules containing germ cells and Sertoli cells, and separated by a basal lamina from the interstitial compartment, in which Leydig and myoid cells were detected for the first time in Acipenseridae. Spermatogenesis occurred in spermatocysts produced when Sertoli cells became associated with type A spermatogonia of subsequent generations, which produced a clone of synchronized aligned spermatogonia...
September 8, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Michel Comeau, Kadra Benhalima
Despite supporting a valuable fishery, the reproductive system of the male American lobster (Homarus americanus) is poorly understood. The elongated H-shaped testis is responsible for spermatogenesis and is composed of follicles, a common collecting duct with interlaced scattered striated muscles, and a serosa as an external wall. Sertoli cells are associated with the spermatogenesis that produces spermatozoa, which are transferred to the collecting duct through a temporary passageway. Spermatogenesis is asynchronous between follicles and occurs on a continuous basis...
September 7, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Zaskia Henke, Lauren Sahd, Sonja Matthee, Sanet H Kotzé
Several muroid rodent species are distributed throughout southern Africa. Some species are reportedly classified as opportunistic omnivorous rodents consuming plant, seed, and insect material. This study aims to provide a detailed morphometric analysis of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of four such omnivorous species, including stomach content analysis. Fixed GIT specimens (n = 5 of each) of Rhabdomys dilectus (Mesic four-striped grass mouse), Rhabdomys pumilio (Xeric four-striped grass mouse), Aethomys chrysophilus (Red rock rat), and Lemniscomys rosalia (Single-striped grass mouse) were weighed...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Alexander Knyshov, Rochelle Hoey-Chamberlain, Christiane Weirauch
Insect male genitalia show an evolutionarily variable morphology that has proven to be valuable for both, species identifications and phylogenetic analyses at higher taxonomic levels. Accurate usage of genitalic characters in taxonomic descriptions and phylogenetic analyses depends on consistency of terminology and validity of homology hypotheses. Both areas are underdeveloped in many insect groups. We here document the morphology and advance homology hypotheses of male genitalic features for the hemipteran infraorder Dipsocoromorpha, the minute litter bugs...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Natasha D Phillips, Lukas Kubicek, Nicholas L Payne, Chris Harrod, Lawrence E Eagling, Carol D Carson, Valentina Cappanera, Jonathan D R Houghton
For teleost fishes, the relationship between morphometric traits can provide significant insight into species life history, however gathering such data for noncommercial species can prove challenging. Here, we use data collected opportunistically from fisheries bycatch and stranding events to assess growth scaling over orders of magnitude in the ocean sunfish (genus Mola). Intriguingly, the confidence intervals for the relationship between length and mass suggests that isometric scaling is likely, a growth pattern rarely observed in fishes owing to the scaling of supportive structures...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Adelbert De Clercq, Matthew R Perrott, Peter S Davie, Mark A Preece, Matthew A G Owen, Ann Huysseune, P Eckhard Witten
Variation of vertebral centra numbers is common in vertebrates. Likewise, the number of associated elements such as ribs and neural and haemal arches can vary and affect all regions of the vertebral column. In mammals, only the number of cervical vertebrae is invariable. Variation of total vertebral centra numbers is well documented in teleost fish, often related to temperature. Less information is available about which part of the vertebral column and which associated elements are liable to variation. Here, variation in number of vertebral centra and associated elements is studied in Chinook salmon in six distinct anatomical regions...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Peter Pogoda, Alexander Kupfer
Males and females face different selection pressures due to a sexually biased investment into reproduction. This often results in different morphologies. Sexual size dimorphisms (SSD) can give us important hints on the evolution and biology of a species. Salamanders are a perfectly suited system for investigating SSD, including a diversity of reproductive modes and behaviors, and patterns of SSD combined with life history traits in a phylogenetic context help us to understand the evolution of these processes...
September 5, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Timothy E Higham, Scott G Seamone, Amanda Arnold, Desiree Toews, Zeanna Janmohamed, Sara J Smith, Sean M Rogers
The alteration of form and function through the life of a fish can have profound impacts on the ability to move through water. Although several studies have examined morphology and function in relation to body size, there is a paucity of data for chondrichthyans, an ancient group of fishes. Ratfishes are interesting in that they utilize flapping pectoral fins to drive movement, and they diverged from elasmobranchs early in the gnathostome phylogeny. Using the spotted ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, we quantified the scaling of traits relevant for locomotion, including median and paired fin external anatomy, the musculature of the pectoral and pelvic fins, and the kinematics of the pectoral fins...
September 5, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Timur Yu Magarlamov, Alexey V Chernyshev, James M Turbeville
The structure of pseudocnidae of 16 species of Palaeonemertea clade Archinemertea (= Cephalotrichida s.l.) was investigated with confocal laser, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). All species of the genus Cephalothrix possess two kinds of pseudocnidae, large and small. Only one type of pseudocnida is present in Balionemertes and Cephalotrichella. TEM revealed variation in the ultrastructure of large and small pseudocnidae of four species of Cephalothrix. Pseudocnidae of Balionemertes, Cephalotrichella, and Cephalothrix differ in substructure: in Balionemertes and Cephalotrichella the medulla is located in the basal half of the pseudocnidae with а precore layer situated in the apical half, whereas in Cephalothrix spp...
September 5, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Molly C Womack, Jennifer L Stynoski, Meredith K Voyles, Luis A Coloma, Kim L Hoke
Despite the benefit of the tympanic middle ear to airborne hearing sensitivity, anurans range in how soon they develop functional middle ears after transitioning to life on land. Previous evidence suggested that bufonids had particularly slow middle ear developmental rates, but precise timelines have not yet been published for this family. Here, we provide the first age-verified middle ear development timeline for a true toad species (family Bufonidae). We find that although middle ear development begins during metamorphosis in Rhinella horribilis, the middle ear remains incomplete 15 weeks after the transition from aquatic tadpole to land-dwelling toadlet...
August 27, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Mari Carmen Uribe, Harry J Grier, Susana Areli Avila-Zúñiga, Adriana García-Alarcón
Teleosts possess unique features of the female reproductive system compared with the rest of vertebrates, features that define the characteristics of their viviparity. Viviparity involves new maternal-embryonic relationships detailing the most diverse structures during gestation that include embryonic nutrition. In order to analyze the morphological features of the complex nutrition in viviparous teleosts during intraovarian gestation, this study utilizes the goodeid Xenotoca eiseni as a model. Ovarian gestation in X...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Christopher P Kenaley, Andres Sanin, Jeanelle Ackerman, John Yoo, Anudeep Alberts
The skin of aquatic vertebrates surrounds all the mechanical lineages of the body and must, therefore, play an important role in locomotion. A cross-woven collagenous dermal design has converged across several clades of vertebrates. Despite this intriguing pattern, the biomechanical role of skin in swimming fishes remains largely unknown. A direct force transmission role for fish skin has been proposed, a hypothesis that is supported by the arrangement of the connective tissues linking the skin to the axial musculature...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Alcimar L Carvalho
The development of the larval external morphology of Coryphaeschna perrensi is reported based primarily on a comparison of successive exuviae of reared specimens, with the second stadium larvae first described separately. Accentuated changes observable throughout successive moltings occur in some structures, such as the head capsule, labium, and anal appendages, allowing for the definition of characters with naturally ordered, polarized, and linear states (transformation series) by ontogenetic evidence. The terminal (less general) and nonterminal (more general) states of the described transformation series correspond by primary homology to the conditions found in larvae of other dragonfly species...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Cathrin Pfaff, Julia A Schultz, Rico Schellhorn
The evolution of the various hearing adaptations is connected to major structural changes in nearly all groups of vertebrates. Besides hearing, the detection of acceleration and orientation in space are key functions of this mechanosensory system. The symposium "show me your ear - the inner and middle ear in vertebrates" held at the 11th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) 2016 in Washington, DC (USA) intended to present current research addressing adaptation and evolution of the vertebrate otic region, auditory ossicles, vestibular system, and hearing physiology...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Tianyi Feng, Brian Paterson, Olga Panagiotopoulou, Kathryn Green, Karine Mardon, Stephen Johnston
Although artificial insemination has been used for decades in Penaeus monodon aquaculture, the interaction of male and female external genitalia during spermatophore transfer has not been fully documented. As a result, studying the functional anatomy of this process may help to better refine the insemination technique. The sexual act in penaeoid prawns is virtually impossible to observe directly; as a result, this study aimed to describe the functional anatomy and interaction of external genitalia, such as the petasma, appendices masculinae and genital papillae of the male, with that of the thelycum and genital lobes of the female, using a combination of micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
J Sebastián Barrionuevo
Andean frogs of the genus Telmatobius occur at high elevations, they have an aquatic mode of life and large tadpoles. There are more than 60 species that closely resemble one another and have low values of genetic divergence. However, the skeleton, particularly the cranium, is interspecifically variable with respect to the different levels of development of some elements. Heterochrony is considered to have played a prominent role in generating phenotypic variation, especially among closely related species. Herein, the developmental origins of the adult cranial configuration of two species of Telmatobius are explored...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Samuel Ginot, Julien Claude, Lionel Hautier
Murine rodents display a unique cranial morphology and masticatory musculature. Yet detailed myological descriptions are scarce, especially considering the great diversity of the subfamily and the use of the house mouse and brown rat as model organisms. The masticatory musculature in these two species has been thoroughly described, which allows comparisons with other wild species. Description and comparison of a wide range of species constitutes a necessary step to fully understand how ecological factors may influence the morphology and myology of the skull in the Murinae and vice versa...
August 17, 2018: Journal of Morphology
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