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The development of the olfactory organs in newly hatched monotremes and neonate marsupials

Schneider, Nanette Yvette
Fonte: Blackwell Science Inc Publicador: Blackwell Science Inc
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Relevância na Pesquisa
Olfactory cues are thought to play a crucial role in the detection of the milk source at birth in mammals. It has been shown that a marsupial, the tammar wallaby, can detect olfactory cues from its mother's pouch at birth. This study investigates whether the main olfactory and accessory olfactory system are similarly well developed in other marsupials and monotremes at birth/hatching as in the tammar. Sections of the head of various marsupial and two monotreme species were investigated by light microscopy. Both olfactory systems were less well developed in the kowari and Eastern quoll. No olfactory or vomeronasal or terminal nerves could be observed; the main olfactory bulb (MOB) had only two layers while no accessory olfactory bulb or ganglion terminale were visible. All other investigated marsupials and monotremes showed further developed olfactory systems with olfactory, vomeronasal and terminal nerves, a three-layered MOB, and in the marsupials a prominent ganglion terminale. The main olfactory system was further developed than the accessory olfactory system in all species investigated. The olfactory systems were the least developed in species in which the mother's birth position removed most of the difficulty in reaching the teat...