Zoomorphology (ZOOMORPHOLOGY )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


The journal will accept original papers based on morphological investigation of invertebrates and vertebrates at the macroscopic microscopic and ultrastructural levels including embryologcial studies. Special emphasis will be placed on: Comparative anatomical studies that correlate structure with function including morphometric analysis Analysis of interrelationship between structural-functional systems of animals and their general biology including environmental adaptations and behavior Analysis of interdependency among complex structural functional systems in adult organisms as well as during embryological and phylogenetical development Studies of developmental phenomena and homologies as the basis for phylogenetic relationships.

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    Zoomorphology website
  • Other titles
    Zeitschrift für Morphologie der Tiere
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    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Springer Verlag

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several details of the anatomy of the axial complex in brittle stars remain unknown, and there are many mismatching descriptions of its structure in different sources. The comparison of the ophiuroid axial complex with other classes of echinoderms is important for understanding of the phylogenetic relations in Ophiuroidea. We describe the organization of the axial complex of Ophiura robusta, compare it with other Ophiuroidea and analyse how the specific structure of the brittle star axial complex could appear in evolution. The standard technique of dehydration of material in alcohols of increasing concentration was used, followed by embedding material in paraplast and dissection. In the main components, the axial complex of Ophiuroidea fits other Asterozoa. But there are some important differences. The stone canal connects with the ambulacral ring from the outside, not from the inside. The somatocoelomic perihaemal ring is closer to the mouth than the axocoelomic ring. The axial complex lies between the genital coelom and the digestive tract. The gastric haemal ring is located on the outer side of the axial complex. The “pericardial” part of the axial organ is shifted to the oral side, but all its anatomical connections are retained: with the genital haemal ring, with the haemocoel of the body wall, with the gastric haemal ring and the vessels of the axial part of the axial organ. All these features could be explained as a result of shifting of madreporic plate along interradius CD from the aboral side to the oral side.
    Zoomorphology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Plastron respiration was investigated in the fortuyniid Alismobates inexpectatus, Fortuynia atlantica and the selenoribatid Carinozetes bermudensis. All these taxa inhabit intertidal zones of subtropical and tropical coasts and are exposed to tidal flooding. The utilization of plastron mechanisms enables these species to respire under water. Cerotegumental structures consisting of micropapillae and pillars bearing an outer sheet provide extensive areas where air is retained supplying the tracheal system with oxygen. A. inexpectatus and F. atlantica possess a dorsal and ventral plastron connected laterally by cuticular channels of the van der Hammen’s organ, whereas the specific configuration of these channels varies between the genera. The plastron of Carinozetes species spans the whole body except for all movable parts as legs and genital and anal valves. Plastron structures in juveniles of the families Fortuyniidae and Selenoribatidae were investigated for the first time in detail. Air-retaining cerotegument is also present in immatures of these taxa but is concentrated along lateral and ventral folds where series of pores lead into supposed tracheal organs. In juveniles of A. inexpectatus and F. atlantica, these organs are tubes with a length of approximately 3–15 lm, and in Carinozetes immatures, these organs are short saccules (0.5–1 lm).
    Zoomorphology 11/2014; 133:359-378.
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the ultrastructure and the relative thickness of the integumental cuticle in several species of troglobitic and non-troglobitic woodlice. Measurements of tergal cuticle thickness on histological sections demonstrated that the cuticles in non-troglobites are thicker than those in troglobites of similar body sizes. As revealed by scanning electron microscopy, the endocuticles in troglobites consist of more numerous and thinner lamellae compared to cuticles of similar thickness in non-troglobites. Similar differences in the number and thickness of cuticular lamellae were not found in the exocuticle. As demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy of the epicuticles in troglobitic and non-troglobitic woodlice, the simple inner epicuticle is thinner relative to the total epicuticle thickness in troglobites, but this is not the case for the outer epicuticle. Outer epicuticles consisting of different numbers of sublayers can be found in troglobites as well as in non-troglobites and more complex outer epicuticles are not characteristic of representatives of any of the two ecological groups. Our results indicate that the thickness and structure of the integumental cuticle are important for evolutionary success in the subterranean environment. Nevertheless, the cuticles of troglobites are diverse in their ultrastructural features, likely reflecting different lifestyles of various troglobites.
    Zoomorphology 06/2014; 133(4):391-403.
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian Carpus is a complex of several small bones with multiple interactions during walking. Therefore, it is highly probable that different mammalian families developed distinctive constellations in their Carpi, which could be useful for biometric identification of phylogenetic groupings. The carpal bones of nineteen extant ruminant species (nine bovid, nine cervid, and one moschid) have been investigated to search for biometric traits which are diagnostic for the three families. Additionally, we searched for diverging functional adaptations in the carpal constellations. Therefore, measurements have been taken from the five main carpals, which are carrying the body weight. As a sesamoid bone, Os carpi accessorium was excluded. After transformation of the data into their natural logarithms, multivariate methods of factor analyses and discriminant analyses were performed for each bone. Bivariate plots of the factor scores allowed a clear separation of bovids and cervids. The only one species of the Moschidae (Moschus moschiferus) lies closer to the cervids than to the bovids. The grouping is due to phylogenetic relationships and not due to functional differences in the groups or differing habitat preferences. Generally, the carpals of cervids are more slender and higher in contrast to the bulky and flat carpals in bovids. This approach could be used to assign isolated carpal bones found in fossil sites to their ruminant family.
    Zoomorphology 06/2014; 133(2):139-149.
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    ABSTRACT: The organization of knee articular cartilage of the bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) differs in relation to morphofunctional adaptation in many aspects from similar structures in mammals. Thus, we investigated the structural organization and distribution of the extracellular matrix components in three articular cartilage regions in the distal epiphysis of the femur and proximal epiphysis of the tibia in male bullfrogs at 7, 540 and 1,080 days after metamorphosis. Cartilage thickness and cell density decreased in all regions with age. The basophilia differed among cartilage sites during aging. Calcium deposits were detected in growth cartilage of the femur and tibia in older animals. Immunohistochemical staining for chondroitin-6-sulfate was positive in the pericellular and territorial matrix in all samples. Positive immunostaining for type I collagen was observed in the superficial layer at all ages and in ossification centers of older animals. Reactivity to type II collagen was intense and was found throughout the stroma at all ages. Ultrastructural analysis of the epiphyseal region, in young animals, showed that the cytoplasm of chondrocytes was rich in rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complex and mitochondria. In old animals, were observed a reduction in the size and number of mitochondria, disintegration of rough endoplasmic reticulum, and vacuolization of the Golgi complex. The bullfrog articular cartilage presented structural and organizational changes during aging which may contribute to the functional cartilage deterioration in old animals.
    Zoomorphology 06/2014; 133(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The systematic position of Polygordiidae is still under debate. They have been assigned to various positions among the polychaetes. Recent molecular analyses indicate that they might well be part of a basal radiation in Annelida, suggesting that certain morphological characters could represent primitive character traits adopted from the annelid stem species. To test this hypothesis, an investigation of the muscular and nervous systems by means of immunological staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy was conducted. With the exception of the brain, the nervous system is entirely basiepidermal and consists of the brain, the esophageal connectives, the subesophageal region, the ventral nerve cord and several smaller longitudinal nerves. These are connected by a considerable number of ring nerves in each segment. The ventral nerve cord is made up of closely apposed longitudinal neurite bundles, a median and two larger lateral ones. Since distinct ganglia are lacking, it represents a medullary cord. The muscular system mainly consists of longitudinal fibers, regularly distributed oblique muscles and strong septa. The longitudinal fibers form a right and a left unit separated along the dorsal midline, each divided into a dorsal and ventral part by the oblique muscles. Anteriorly, the longitudinal musculature passes the brain and terminates in the prostomium. There is no musculature in the palps. In contrast to earlier observations, regularly arranged minute circular muscle fibers are present. Very likely, a basiepithelial and non-ganglionic organization of the ventral nerve cord as well as an orthogonal nervous system represent plesiomorphic characters. The same applies for the predominance of longitudinal muscle fibers.
    Zoomorphology 01/2014; 133(1).
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    ABSTRACT: In the past, micro-arthropod taxonomists have mainly relied on qualitative characters to identify species, and relatively little attention has been paid to quantitative analysis. However, several taxonomic groups have high morphological variability, which creates problems in identification. Quantitative analysis of morphometrical data of specific characters could aid in understanding differences in the morphology of oribatid species. In this respect, confocal laser scanning microscopy and quantitative analysis were used to describe morphological traits of four oribatid mite species belonging to the genus Carabodes Koch, 1835—C. femoralis (Nicolet, 1855), C. labyrinthicus (Michael, 1879), C. ornatus Storkan, 1925 and C. subarcticus Trägårdh, 1902. All specimens were collected in Latvia. Thirteen morphological traits were measured for 838 adult individuals. The same traits were also measured with transmitted light microscopy, and results were compared. The impact of a number of environmental factors on traits was also assessed. High interspecific variability in size of most morphological features was observed. In many cases, sizes of the measured features correlated between different species. The ranges in length of notogastral setae p3 and h3 of C. femoralis did not overlap with those of C. labyrinthicus or C. ornatus. Significant correlations between body length and size of setal structures, as well as between setal structures, were detected. Size of morphological features was directly affected by the cover of lichens, a main food resource for Carabodes, and indirectly by the effect of soil moisture on lichen communities.
    Zoomorphology 01/2014; 133(2):227-236.