Histological analysis of the eyeball of Neotropical birds of prey Caracara plancus, Falco sparverius, Rupornis magnirostris, Megascops choliba and Athene cunicularia
The growing use of ophthalmic examination as a screening tool in birds intended for reintroduction into natural environments over the last few years has given renewed significance to avian ophthalmology in the context of free-ranging and captive bird conservation. The eye plays a vital role in prey detection and capture by birds of prey. The remarkable eyesight of such birds makes them interesting subjects for avian visual system anatomical and histological investigation. This study set out to describe histological features of the eyeball of ubiquitous birds of prey in Brazil (Falconiformes, Accipitriformes and Strigiformes). Twenty enucleated cadaveric eyeballs obtained from birds with natural death, Caracara plancus, Falco sparverius, Rupornis magnirostris, Megascops choliba and Athene cunicularia were used. Routinely prepared histological slides stained with hematoxylin and eosin were analyzed under light microscopy. Similarities and variations in ocular structures between the different bird species studied were highlighted in this study, with major differences concerning the lens and retina. This study highlights the importance of determining the ocular histological pattern of the species so they can be better understood. These results may well assign baseline information of the species and assist in eye histopathological diagnostics.
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