Sexually dimorphic vocal behavior in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is associated with a 100% larger syrinx in males and other morphological adaptations of the sound source. The songbird syrinx consists of two independent sound sources, whose specialization for different spectral ranges may be reflected in morphological properties, but the morphology of labia and syringeal skeleton have not been investigated for lateralized specializations. Similarly, little is known whether the morphology of the songbird vocal tract reflects differences in vocal behavior. Here, we tested the hypothesis that different vocal behavior and specialization is reflected in the morphology. We investigated syringeal and upper vocal tract morphology of male and female European starlings (Sturnus υulgaris). Female starlings exhibit smaller vocal repertoires and sing at lower rates than males. In males, the left syrinx produces mostly low frequencies, while the right one is used for higher notes. Macroscopic and histological techniques were used to record nineteen measurements from the syrinx and the vocal tract which were tested for sexual differences in syrinx and vocal tract and for lateral asymmetry within the syrinx. Sexually dimorphic vocal behavior is reflected in the morphology of the starling syrinx. Males have a larger syrinx with the size difference attributable to increased muscle mass and three enlarged elements of the syringeal skeleton. The upper vocal tract, however, does not differ between males and females. Distinct lateralization was found in two elements of the syringeal skeleton of females, and the labia in the left syrinx are larger than those on the right in both sexes. The sexual dimorphism of the syringeal size is smaller in starlings (35%) than in zebra finches (100%), which is consistent with the different vocal behavior of females in both species. The morphological differences between the two sound sources are discussed in relation to their vocal performance.
labia; vocal fold; bioacoustics; vocal control
The authors test the hypothesis that vocal fold morphology and biomechanical properties covary with species-specific vocal function. They investigate mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) vocal folds, building on, and extending data on a related cervid, the Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). The mule deer, in contrast to the elk, is a species with relatively little vocal activity in adult animals. Mule deer and elk vocal folds show the typical three components of the mammalian vocal fold (epithelium, lamina propria and thyroarytenoid muscle). The vocal fold epithelium and the lamina propria were investigated in two sets of tensile tests. First, creep rupture tests demonstrated that ultimate stress in mule deer lamina propria is of the same magnitude as in elk. Second, cyclic loading tests revealed similar elastic moduli for the vocal fold epithelium in mule deer and elk. The elastic modulus of the lamina propria is also similar between the two species in the low-strain region, but differs at strains larger than 0.3. Sex differences in the stress–strain response, which have been reported for elk and human vocal folds, were not found for mule deer vocal folds. The laminae propriae in mule deer and elk vocal folds are comparatively large. In general, a thick and uniformly stiff lamina propria does not self-oscillate well, even when high subglottic pressure is applied. If the less stiff vocal fold seen in elk is associated with a differentiated lamina propria it would allow the vocal fold to vibrate at high tension and high subglottic pressure. The results of this study support the hypothesis that viscoelastic properties of vocal folds varies with function and vocal behavior.
larynx; vocal ligament; stress–strain response; cervidae; bioacoustics; mammals; source-filter theory; Young's modulus
Most mammals possess stamina because their locomotor and respiratory (i.e., ventilatory) systems are mechanically coupled. These systems are decoupled, however, in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as they swim on a breath-hold. Locomotion and ventilation are coupled only during their brief surfacing event, when they respire explosively (up to 90% of total lung volume in approximately 0.3s) (Ridgway et al., 1969). The predominantly slow-twitch fiber profile of their diaphragm (Dearolf, 2003) suggests that this muscle does not likely power their rapid ventilatory event. Based upon Bramble's (1989) biomechanical model of locomotor-respiratory coupling in galloping mammals, it was hypothesized that locomotor muscles function to power ventilation in bottlenose dolphins. It was further hypothesized that these muscles would be composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers to facilitate the bottlenose dolphin's rapid ventilation. The gross morphology of cranio-cervical (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid), thoracic (intercostals, transverse thoracis), and lumbo-pelvic (hypaxialis, rectus abdominis, abdominal obliques) muscles (n=7) and the fiber-type profiles (n=6) of selected muscles (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid, rectus abdominis) of bottlenose dolphins were investigated. Physical manipulations of excised thoracic units were carried out to investigate potential actions of these muscles. Results suggest that the cranio-cervical muscles act to draw the sternum and associated ribs cranio-dorsally, which flares the ribs laterally, and increases the thoracic cavity volume required for inspiration. The lumbo-pelvic muscles act to draw the sternum and caudal ribs caudally, which decreases the volumes of the thoracic and abdominal cavities required for expiration. All muscles investigated were composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers (range 61-88% by area) and appear histochemically poised for rapid contraction. These combined results suggest that dolphins utilize muscles, similar to those used by galloping mammals, to power their explosive ventilation.
dolphin; respiration; ventilation; muscle; histochemistry; anatomy; morphology
We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first five months post-hatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we employed histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in one-week, one-month, three-month, and five-month-old gonads. We found profound morphological changes in both ovary and testis. During this time, oogenesis progressed up to diplotene arrest and meiotic germ cells increasingly interacted with follicular cells. Concomitant with follicles becoming invested with full complements of granulosa cells, a periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS)-positive basement membrane formed. As follicles enlarged and thecal layers were observed, basement membranes and thecal compartments gained periodic acid-methionine silver (PAMS)-reactive fibers. The ovarian medulla increased first PAS- and then PAMS-reactivity as it fragmented into wide lacunae lined with low cuboidal to squamous epithelia. During this same period, testicular germ cells found along the tubule margins were observed progressing from spermatogonia to round spermatids located within the center of tubules. Accompanying this meiotic development, interstitial Leydig cell clusters become more visible and testicular capsules thickened. During the observed testis development, the thickening tunica albuginea and widening interstitial tissues showed increasing PAS- and PAMS-reactivity. We observed putative inter-sex structures in both ovary and testis. On the coelomic aspect of testes were cell clusters with germ cell morphology and at the posterior end of ovaries, we observed “medullary rests” resembling immature testis cords. We hypothesize laboratory conditions accelerated gonad maturation due to optimum conditions, including nutrients and temperature. Laboratory alligators grew more rapidly and with increased body conditions compared to previous measured, field-caught animals. Additionally, we predict the morphological maturation observed in these gonads is concomitant with increased endocrine activities.
Alligator mississippiensis; ovary; testis; development; follicle assembly
The rodent allantois is thought to be unique amongst mammals in not having an endodermal component. Here, we have investigated the mesothelium, or outer surface, of murine umbilical precursor tissue, the allantois (~7.25–8.5 days postcoitum, dpc) to discover whether it exhibits the properties of an epithelium. A combination of morphology, challenge with biotinylated dextran amines (BDAs), and immunohistochemistry revealed that the mesothelium of the mouse allantois exhibits distinct regional properties. By headfold stages (~7.75–8.0 dpc), distal mesothelium was generally squamous in shape, and highly permeable to BDA challenge, whereas ventral proximal mesothelium, referred to as “ventral cuboidal mesothelium” (VCM) for the characteristic cuboidal shape of its cells, was relatively impermeable. Although “dorsal cuboidal mesothelium” (DCM) resembled the VCM in cell shape, its permeability to BDA was intermediate between the other two regions. Results of immunostaining for Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Epithelial-cadherin (E-cadherin), together with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), suggested that impermeability in the VCM may be due to greater cellular contact area between cells and close packing rather than to maturity of tight junctions, the latter of which, by comparison with the visceral yolk sac, appeared to be rare or absent from the allantoic surface. Both VCM and DCM exhibited an ultrastructure more favorable for protein synthesis than did the distal squamous mesothelium; however, at most stages, VCM exhibited robust afadin (AF-6), whereas the DCM uniquely contained alpha-4-integrin. These observations demonstrate that the allantoic mesothelium is not a conventional epithelium but possesses regional ultrastructural, functional and molecular differences that may play important roles in the correct deployment of the umbilical cord and its associated vascular, hematopoietic, and other cell types.
adherens junctions; afadin; E-cadherin; epithelium; omphalomesenteric artery, patterning; permeability; umbilical cord; vasculature; visceral endoderm; yolk sac; zonula occludens
Directional asymmetry (DA) is a characteristic of most vertebrates, most strikingly exhibited by the placement of various organs (heart, lungs, liver, etc.) but also noted in small differences in the metrics of skeletal structures such as the pelvis of certain fish or sauropsids. We have analyzed DA in the skeleton of the fox (V. vulpes), using ~1,000 radiographs of foxes from populations used in the genetic analysis of behavior and morphology. Careful measurements from this robust data base demonstrate that: 1) DA occurs in the limb bones, the ileum, and ischium and in the mandible; 2) regardless of the direction of the length asymmetry vector of a particular skeletal unit, the vectorial direction of length is always opposite to that of width; 3) with the exception of the humerus and radius, there is no correlation or inverse correlation between vectorial amplitudes or magnitudes of bone asymmetries. 4) Postnatal measurements on foxes demonstrate that the asymmetry increases after birth and continues to change (increasing or decreasing) during postnatal growth. 5) A behavior test for preferential use of a specific forelimb exhibited fluctuating asymmetry but not DA. None of the skeletal asymmetries were significantly correlated with a preferential use of a specific forelimb. We suggest that for the majority of fox skeletal parameters, growth on the right and left side of the fox are differentially biased resulting in fixed differences between the two sides in either the rate of growth or the length of the period during which growth occurs. Random effects around these fixed differences perturb the magnitude of the effects such that the magnitudes of length and width asymmetries are not inversely correlated at the level of individual animals.
fox; V. vulpes; skeleton; directional asymmetry; pelvis; mandible; limb bone
The rostrum is a large diameter, thin-walled tubular structure that receives loads from the teeth. The rostrum can be conceptualized both as a rigid structure and as an assemblage of several bones that interface at sutures. Using miniature pigs, we measured in vivo strains in rostral bones and sutures to gain a better understanding of how the rostrum behaves biomechanically. Strains in the premaxillary and nasal bones were low but the adjacent maxillary-premaxillary, internasal, and intermaxillary suture strains were larger by an order of magnitude. While this finding emphasizes the composite nature of the rostrum, we also found evidence in the maxillary and nasal bones for rigid structural behavior. Namely, maxillary strain is consistent with a short beam model under shear deformation from molar loading. Strain in the nasal bones is only partially supported by a long beam model; rather, a complex pattern of dorsal bending of the rostrum from incisor contact and lateral compression is suggested. Torsion of the maxilla is ruled out due to the bilateral occlusion of pigs and the similar working and balancing side strains, although it may be important in mammals with a unilateral bite. Torsional loading does appear important in the premaxillae, which demonstrate working and balancing side changes in strain orientation. These differences are attributed to asymmetrical incisor contact occurring at the end of the power stroke.
craniofacial suture; pig; facial bones; bone strain
Although cranial sutures presumably play a role in absorbing and/or transmitting loads applied to the skull, loading patterns on facial sutures are poorly understood. The zygomatic arch provides a comparatively isolated mechanical part of the skull containing a single suture, the zygomatico-squamosal. In pigs the zygomatico-squamosal suture has a short vertical segment located within the postorbital process and a longer horizontal segment which extends posteriorly. In anesthetized pigs single-element high-elongation strain gages were bonded over both segments of the suture. Strain was recorded during stimulation of the masseter muscles and while the lightly anesthetized animals masticated food pellets. The predominant strain patterns differed in the two segments of the suture. During mastication compressive strains predominated in the vertical segment, but tensile strains predominated in the horizontal segment. The same patterns were also produced by stimulation of the ipsilateral masseter muscle. Contraction of the contralateral masseter reversed the strain pattern, but strain levels were low and during mastication such reversals occurred only transiently. The two segments of the suture have contrasting morphologies. The vertical segment has broad, interdigitating contacts with fibers arranged in a compression-resisting orientation. The horizontal segment has a simple tongue and groove structure with fibers arranged to resist tension. Thus, the structure of the suture reflects the predominant strain pattern.
The growth and morphology of craniofacial sutures are thought to reflect their functional environment. However, little is known about in vivo sutural mechanics. The present study investigates the strains experienced by the internasal, nasofrontal, and anterior interfrontal sutures during masticatory activity in 4–6-month-old miniature swine (Sus scrofa). Measurements of the bony/fibrous arrangements and growth rates of these sutures were then examined in the context of their mechanical environment. Large tensile strains were measured in the interfrontal suture (1,036 με ± 400 SD), whereas the posterior internasal suture was under moderate compression (−440 με ± 238) and the nasofrontal suture experienced large compression (−1,583 με ± 506). Sutural interdigitation was associated with compressive strain. The collagen fibers of the internasal and interfrontal sutures were clearly arranged to resist compression and tension, respectively, whereas those of the nasofrontal suture could not be readily characterized as either compression or tension resisting. The average linear rate of growth over a 1-week period at the nasofrontal suture (133.8 μm, ± 50.9 S.D) was significantly greater than that of both the internasal and interfrontal sutures (39.2 μm ± 11.4 and 65.5 μm ± 14.0, respectively). Histological observations suggest that the nasofrontal suture contains chondroid tissue, which may explain the unexpected combination of high compressive loading and rapid growth in this suture.
sutures; mastication; bone strain; skull; growth; miniature swine
The cartilaginous nasal septum plays a major role in structural integrity and growth of the face, but its internal location has made physiologic study difficult. By surgically implanting transducers in 10 miniature pigs (Sus scrofa), we recorded in vivo strains generated in the nasal septum during mastication and masseter stimulation. The goals were (1) to determine whether the cartilage should be considered as a vertical strut supporting the nasal cavity and preventing its collapse, or as a damper of stresses generated during mastication and (2) to shed light on the overall pattern of snout deformation during mastication. Strains were recorded simultaneously at the septo-ethmoid junction and nasofrontal suture during mastication. A third location in the anterior part of the cartilage was added during masseter stimulation and manipulation. Contraction of jaw closing muscles during mastication was accompanied by anteroposterior compressive strains (around −1,000 με) in the septo-ethmoid junction. Both the orientation and the magnitude of the strain suggest that the septum does not act as a vertical strut but may act in absorbing loads generated during mastication. The results from masseter stimulation and manipulation further suggest that the masticatory strain pattern arises from a combination of dorsal bending and/or shearing and anteroposterior compression of the snout. J. Morphol.
Nasal septum; cartilage; strain; skull; pig
A three-dimensional model of the stomatostylet and associated structures has been reconstructed from serial thin sections of Aphelenchus avenae, a representative of Tylenchomorpha, a group including most plant parasitic nematodes. The reconstruction is compared with previous work on bacteriovorous cephalobids and rhabditids to better understand the evolution of the stylet and its associated cells. Two arcade syncytia (“guide ring”) line the stylet shaft, supporting the hypothesis that the stylet shaft and cone (into which the shaft extends and which is not lined by syncytia) are homologous with the gymnostom of cephalobids, the sister taxon of tylenchids. Epidermal syncytia, HypA, HypB, HypC, and HypE, line the cephalic framework, vestibule, and vestibule extension, congruent with the hypothesis that these components are homologous with the cephalobid cheilostom. Relative to outgroups, HypC is expanded in A. avenae, enclosing sensilla that fill most of the cephalic framework. The homolog of syncytium HypD in the cephalobid Acrobeles complexus is not observed in A. avenae. Arcade syncytia are reduced compared with those of cephalobids. Stylet protractor muscles in A. avenae are homologous with the most anterior set of radial muscles of cephalobids. Observations to date test and verify our previous hypotheses of homology of the stomatostylet with respect to the stoma of bacteriovorous outgroups. Reconstruction of the stegostom and pharynx will provide further tests of homology and evolution of feeding structure adaptations for plant parasitism.
Acrobeles complexus; arcade syncytia; Caenorhabditis elegans; Cephalobomorpha; feeding; fine structure; free living; homology; modeling; muscle; phylogeny; stoma; syncytium; transmission electron microscopy
This paper describes a three dimensional musculoskeletal model of the feline hindlimb based on digitized musculoskeletal anatomy. The model consists of seven degrees of freedom: three at the hip and two each at the knee and ankle. Lines of action and via points for 32 major muscles of the limb are described. Interspecimen variability of muscle paths was surprisingly low: most via points displayed a scatter of only a few millimeters. Joint axes identified by mechanical techniques as non-coincident and non-orthogonal were further honed to yield moment arms consistent with previous reports. Interspecimen variability in joint axes was greater than that of muscle paths and highlights the importance of joint axes in kinematic models. The contribution of specific muscles to the direction of endpoint force generation is discussed.