International Series of Monographs in Pure and Applied Biology: Zoology

1st Edition - January 1, 1968

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  • Author: Mervyn Griffiths
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483150406

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Echidnas, Volume 38 presents the scientific classification of the mammal echidnas. This book describes the characteristics, behavior, reproduction, embryology, anatomy, and physiology of the spiny anteaters, Tachyglossidae. Organized into 11 chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the natural history, classification, and physical characteristics of echidnas. This text then examines the food intake and digestion mechanisms of echidnas whereby the ground-up insects in the buccal cavity are permeated with saliva secreted by the sublingual, subaxillary, and parotid salivary glands. Other chapters describe various stages in the development of echidna embryos and pouch young. This book discusses as well the primary division of the central nervous system of echidnas, including the prosencephalon, mesencephalon, and rhombencephalon. The final chapter deals with the similar anatomical characteristics that anteaters exhibit, and describes also their differences in the grinding techniques, forelimb anatomy, and stomach structures. This book is a valuable resource for biologists and zoologists.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments

    Chapter 1. External Anatomy, Taxonomy, and Natural History

    External Features


    Tachyglossus Aculeatus

    Distribution of the Subspecies of Tachyglossus Aculeatus


    Distribution of the Species of Zaglossus

    Natural History


    Body temperature


    Food and Feeding Habits



    Chapter 2. Intake of Food, Digestion, and Bodily Functions

    Intake of Food


    Nitrogen excretion, N2 Retention, and Growth



    N2 excretion in Torpid Echidnas

    Chapter 3. Skeleton

    Early Chondrocranium

    Definitive Chondrocranium

    Reptilian and Mammalian Characters of the Chondrocranium

    Adult Skull

    Periotic Bone of the Adult Skull, Bony Labyrinth, Membranous

    Labyrinth, and Ear Ossicles

    Laryngeal Skeleton

    Appendicular Skeleton

    Pectoral Girdle

    Pelvic Girdle

    Chapter 4. The Central Nervous System

    Anatomy of the Brain

    Spinal Cord and Medulla Oblongata

    The Cranial Nerves and the Motor Functions of the Brain

    The Motor Nerves of the Brain

    The Pyramidal Tracts

    The Sensory and Co-Ordination Systems of the Brain

    The Gracile and Cuneate Nuclei

    The Trigeminal System

    The Vlllth Nerve

    The Pons Varolii

    The cerebellum

    The Mid-Brain

    Superior Colliculi

    Inferior Colliculi

    The cerebral Peduncles

    Pars Intercalis Encephali

    The Diencephalon

    The Hypothalamus

    The Thalamus

    The Epithalamus

    The Telencephalon

    The Cerebral Hemispheres


    Chapter 5. Special Senses

    The Eyes


    Chapter 6. Endocrine Glands and the Glands of the Immune System


    Corticosteroid Secretion by the Adrenals of Tachyglossus Aculeatus

    The Pituitary Gland

    The Islets of Langerhans

    The Thyroid Gland and other Derivatives of the Pharyngeal Pouches

    The Glands of the Immune System

    Chapter 7. The Reproductive Organs

    The Male Sexual Organs


    Structure of the Epididymal Spermatozoon

    The Number and Structure of the Spermatogonial and Somatic


    The Female Sexual Organs


    The Breeding Season

    Chapter 8. Embroyology

    Early Cleavage Stages

    Formation of the Unilaminar Blastoderm

    Formation of the Bilaminar Blastoderm

    Comparison of Early Development of Tachyglossus with that in Metatheria

    External Features and Embryonic Membranes of Embryos from Pouch Eggs

    Comparison of the Neonatus of Tachyglossus with those of Marsupials

    Chapter 9. The Mammary Glands



    Growth of the Pouch Young and the Composition of the Milk Composition of the Milk

    Chapter 10. Circulatory System and Blood

    The Circulatory System


    Chapter 11. Affinities of the Prototheria


    I. Anatomical Specializations

    II. Iron Content of Echidna Milk

    III. Kidney Function

    IV. Respiration

    V. Incubation Period of the Egg in the Pouch


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 294
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1968
  • Published: January 1, 1968
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483150406

About the Author

Mervyn Griffiths

Affiliations and Expertise

Consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Surgeon, Southampton General Hospital, UK

About the Editor

G. A. Kerkut

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