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Comparative histological characterization of the tongue in two reptiles; Scincus scincus (Scincidae) and Uromastyx ornata (Agamidae) in relation to diet

Siham B Salem, Donald B Miles, Abeer A Alm-Eldeen, Ramadan M Kandyel.

Abstract
The present study is designed to investigate the morphological and histological description of the tongue in two reptilian species; S. scincus and U. ornata with different feeding habits. Moreover, to reveal the histochemical features of the lingual glands and connective tissue fibers. Twenty adult reptiles were used, collected from Abo-Rawash and Sinai desert of Egypt. histochemical methods are used to detect the nature of the lingual gland secretions and their relationship with the feeding habits. Morphologically, in both species the tongue is somewhat triangle with three distinguishable areas; apex, body, and root. The notched tip more obvious in U. ornata. Different shapes of papillae are distributed over the dorsal lingual surfaces and being more abundant in U. ornata. Both serous and mucous secretory acini are noticed in the tongue of U. ornata however, in S. scincus only mucous acini are found. The secretory acini showed a clear affinity toward all stain types according to the acid and neutral mucin. The amount and distribution of collagen fibers is comparatively more in the tongue of U. ornata. Elastic fibers are not detected in the two-examined species. We concluded a marked variation in lingual papillae, lingual gland secretions and also in the distribution of collagen fibers in the two-examined species as a reflection of their diet.

Key words: Lingual papillae, Lingual glands, Taste buds


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