Macroscopic aspects of the Gastrointestinal Tract of the South American freshwater turtle Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei (Bour, 1973)
Keywords:Fresh water turtle, Morphology, Gastrointestinal tract, Chelids
AbstractThere are few anatomical descriptions about the testudines's gastrointestinal tract, especially when concerned to the Vanderhaege's turtle, Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei. The geographical range of this species extends throughout the Paraguai, Paraná and Amazon river basins. Studies about its ecology and morphology are still little exploited, thus, the gastrointestinal apparatus was macroscopic characterized through the dissection of ten specimens. The mouth's oral-aboral length is wider than its oral-tail length. The lips are formed by keratinized structures. The tongue is soft and fixed to the floor of the oral cavity. The cervical esophagus is broad and has thin walls, becoming narrower and thicker in its caudal portion. The stomach's shape resembles the "U" letter. It has a creased mucosa and is divided in a cardiac, a main body, and a pyloric region. The gut is presented as the small and large intestine. The duodenum and jejunum are easily identified. The ileum, on the opposite, is unidentifiable macroscopically, as well as the caecum, the first segment of the large intestine. The colon, the posterior segment, opens itself into a cloaca. The liver presents individual variation regarding lobation pattern. However, the presence of both liver lobes, left and right, is a constant finding during the observation. The pancreas is easily seen running distally along the duodenum. In this analysis, it was verified that the digestive tract in Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei is similar to the tract of other chelids previously studied.
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