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Scanning electron microscope studies of the dorsal lingual surface of some reptilian species

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

Abstract
The lingual morphology of the squamata is still unknown in many species. The lake of detailed description in specific species has hindered the understanding of the functional morphology of the squamata tongue. Therefore, the aim of the study is designed to reveal the morphology of the tongues of the insectivore Scincus scincus; the herbivore Uromastyx ornate and carnivore Psammophis schokari by using SEM. The tongue consists of apex, body and lingual root in sequence. Morphologically, the tongues of S. scincus and U. ornata is flattened dorso-ventrally with a triangle shape in the first one and rectangular in U. ornata. The tip of the first species is short furrow, while the second one its tip is split. Where, the tongue of P. schokari, is slim, thin and narrow with along bifurcated tip. A median sulcus is deep in P. schokari, shallow in U. ornata and absent in S. scincus. Lingual papillae are absent in the dorsal surface of the tongue of P. schokari, while, they are recommended with numerous shapes on the dorsal lingual surface of S. scincus and U. ornata. Microfacets are seen on the apical dorsal surface of the P. schokari tongue. Lingual glands are noted only in the lingual apex of U. ornata tongue. The taste buds are occurrence along the tongue of S. scincus and observed only on the root part of the of U. ornata. In contrast the taste buds are absent in P. schokari tongue. From the obvious variation of the dorsal lingual surface of the tongue of three examined species we can concluded that these differences may be reflect to their feeding habit.

Key words: Reptilia, SEM, Lingual papillae, Lingual glands, Taste buds


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