Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

  • Antoine Stier added an answer:
    Would someone have a protocol to analyse citrate synthase activity in avian plasma or whole blood?

    Would someone have a protocol to analyse citrate synthase activity in avian plasma or whole blood? I only find protocol using tissus or cell extracts.


    Antoine Stier

    Citrate synthase (CS) is an enzyme localized in the mitochondrial matrix, so I don't expect any CS activity in the plasma.

    However, avian red blood cells have functional mitochondria (see Stier et al. 2013 Frontiers in Zoology), so it might be possible theoretically to measure CS is red blood cell lysate. You might find one protocol in Spinnazi et al. 2012 Nature protocols. I will probably try such kind of assay next month, so I might keep you informed of the results if you want.

    Hope it helps,


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  • Stanley F Fox added an answer:
    I'm conducting a tail autotomy experiment on western fence lizards but they refuse to drop their tails for me. Tried forceps and fingers. Suggestions?

    I am trying to induce tail autotomy at around 15 mm posterior to the vent. The lizards will try to run from me when I grab there, but they will not drop their tails. I've tried lifting them up to let them hang, I've tried prodding them with a paint brush (which I use to get them to sprint for sprint speed trials), and I've tried applying gentle pressure. They have no interest to voluntarily remove the tail. Hoping someone can give me some tips as I'm under a bit of time constraint to get them back into their home ranges. Thanks!

    Stanley F Fox

    Congratulations!  You have improved my original tail autotomotron!

  • Sajid Khan added an answer:
    What could the reason for goosebumps appearing in BALB/c mice after feeding on a high-fat diet?

    In one of my experiment,  I am observing that the animals (Balb/c mice) feeding on high-fat diet are having goosebumps along with a increase in their body weights as compared to control diet-fed animals. What could be the possible reason for it?

    Sajid Khan

    Dr Blum, Dr Springer, Dr Clemens..Thank you so much for your invaluable responses.

    These days, the mice are not showing as much piloerection as they were showing previously. I think the mice have now been adapted to high fat diet.

    Dr Clemens, Please see the following answers to your queries.

    It was appeared after about one week of putting them on high-fat diet.

    The mice were 8-9 weeks old at that time.

    They are kept in groups.

    They have nesting material.

    Housing is changed almost weekly.

  • Ilse Corkery added an answer:
    Does anyone know of animals that have a narrow thermal tolerance range?

    I want to see how thermal tolerance differ from among animals.

    Ilse Corkery

    the below article may be of interest to you - basically says that tropical ecosystems are an excellent place to find thermal specialists

  • Lindsay Mccallion added an answer:
    Does anyone know the permanent and temporary adaptations that occur in the horse and the mountain goat at different altitudes?

    Including red blood cell counts, blood pressure and lung capacity changes

    Lindsay Mccallion

    I've done a lot of work on this subject recently, I will upload it later.

  • Younes BOUALLEGUI added an answer:
    Could someone help to find recent references about detailed mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis anatomy?

    I'm trying to find recent references about Mytilus ssp. anatomy but all what I found old referee or not very exact. Any suggessions please?


    Thanks Caterina, yes it's, neverthless that you were contributed, Regards!!!

  • Santosh Dhakal added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest a reference for Nasal Associated Lymphoid Tissue (NALT) of pig?

    Can anyone suggest any good references to understand physiology and immune function of Nasal Associated Lymphoid Tissue (NALT) of pigs? Pigs in particular, not cattle, sheep and human. 

    Santosh Dhakal

    Thanks Anggadia Wardani. I have gone through that. It describes in general the immune system of respiratory tract. They have not discriminated BALT and NALT. But BALT and NALT may not necessarily function same way, just my opinion. I was curious if anybody has focused on NALT structure, fate of antigen delivered through intranasal route in pigs, effect of dose-solubility-particulate nature of antigen for intranasal delivery in pigs etc.  Thanks for the suggestion, it is a nice paper. 

  • M. Balakrishnan added an answer:
    Does anyone have experience with using the neutral red retention time assay in frog erythrocytes?

    First of all, I would like to know if frog erythrocytes have lysosomes.

    M. Balakrishnan

    1. Green RH 1979. Sampling design and statistical methods for environmental biologists. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

    2. UNEP 1995. Global biodiversity assessment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    3. Underwood  AJ 1997. Experiments in ecology, their  logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Cambridge University Press, New York.

    There are also several recent literature, but I hope the ones I have listed are good enough for the purpose.

  • Jiří Ambros added an answer:
    Can I use IMU (like gyroscope) to measure head direction of small animals?

    Hi, I'm considering using Inertial measurement unit (IMU) like accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to measure head direction and rotation for animal behavior. This is a small animal and it moves in 3D. Ideally the device will be mounted on the animal's head and needs to be less than 20mm x 20mm x 15mm in size and transfer data by telemetry. Does anyone have any experience on this? Main consideration here is precision, drift, data output rate and whether to use hardware sensor fusion computations.

    I know a lot of people use IR tags or LEDs with cameras to do this. But since the animal can run upside down, it seems tricky/costly to build and calibrate a multi-camera system.

    Thanks a lot!

    Jiří Ambros

    Dear Lingyun, it sound like very interesting application. I believe it is doable. I have heard about similar applications, but can't remember the source. Now I found this, for example -

  • Oscar Inostroza-Michael added an answer:
    Does anyone know about public databases of animals body size?

    insects, birds, mammals, etc..

    Thanks in advance!

    Oscar Inostroza-Michael

    anyone knows a database of body sizes for amphibians?

  • Marc R Meyer added an answer:
    Which is the origin site of the omo-cervicalis (aka, atlanto-cervicalis, levator claviculae) muscle on the C1 atlas in non-human primates?

    There are many contradictions in the literature as to the origin of the omo-cervicalis (aka, atlanto-cervicalis, levator claviculae) muscle in non-human primates.  Miller 1932 reports it's on the spinous process but all images (including his) appear to depict its origin on the lateral aspect of the pars interarticularis.    Any informed knowledge on this from dissection or otherwise?  Not from the usual literature citing Miller (ie., Aiello, Wood).      

    Marc R Meyer

    Thanks K.J.  very much for the article.  According to Parsons this muscle's origin is the transverse process of the atlas, which seems to contradict many recent texts - but 'feels' much better in terms of shoulder kinematics.  

  • Anggadia Wardani added an answer:
    Is this the vesicula seminalis or uterus masculinus?

    I am studying the "Guinea-Pig" male reproductive system. After dissection, I found a structure (picture below) that is explained differently in various places in the literature. Some claimed it was the vesicula seminalis, and the other mention it was uterus maskulinus. When I cut that organ, some gel-like substances came out in large amount. Can anybody explain what organ it is? And what the contents are?
    Thanks for the responses. I attach my schematic diagrams to explain the topography.

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    Anggadia Wardani

    Thanks all ^_^ very helpful. cheers

  • Anika Brüning added an answer:
    Is it reliable to use whole body measurement instead of blood measurement of small fish?

    If using large fish, I can use its blood to assess osmolality, electrolyte content, stress indicator (such as blood glucose), hormone, etc, what if i use small fish? is whole body measurement reliable enough?

  • Donald Davesne added an answer:
    Does anybody know of any electrogenic abilities in fossil fish?
    So, as many of you are probably aware, there are several living groups of fish which are able to use electroreception to some degree to either passively sense the world around them or, in some cases, actually stun or kill other animals. In particular, I'm thinking of members of the Gymnotiformes (including the electric eel), the electric catfish (Malapteruridae), the torpedo rays (Torpediniformes) and several families of the Osteoglossiformes (Mormyridae and Gymnarchidae).

    I was wondering if anyone knew of any evidence that a now totally-extinct group of fish may have possessed similar electroreceptive/generative abilities (that is to actually generate electric fields, rather than sense them as in sharks or paddlefish). I know that in South American knifefish (Gymnotiformes), the development of an electricity-generating system has strongly constrained the development of their locomotion, which makes me wonder whether a similar morphology among extinct fish (say, xenacanth sharks) might be indicative of such behavior.
    Donald Davesne

    Hi Russell,

    Electrogenic ability has been suggested for at least one fossil chondrichthyan that I can remember : Ostenoselache from the Jurassic of Italy. Its body shape closely reminds the one of extant electrogenic teleosts such as Gymnotiformes, gymnarchids and malapterurid catfishes.
    There is a PDF here :

  • Bob Handley added an answer:
    Why do penguins have double trachea?
    What is the physiological significance of double trachea? It is seen in penguins,sea lions, dugongs spoonbills petrels .
    Bob Handley

    I worked as medical officer on Antarctic base many years ago. Noted double lumen trachea in Gentoo penguin. A likely advantage related to gas exchange and diving. Once a dive has started there is a fixed mass of air in the space between beak and alveolus. A proportion of this space allows blood/gas exchange a proportion does not. As the partial pressure rises nitrogen narcosis and other adverse effects can occur. If however with a decreasing overall volume gas is squeezed from mobile gas exchange areas such as the lung to structurally sound and volume protected structures eg a double lumen trachea there is less exchange. On resurfacing the gas expands from the protected areas to re-inflate the lung and allow exchange to begin at safer partial pressures. There are pictures of whales and dolphins at depth with collapsed thoraces conststant with this theory  

    The double lumen is a structurally efficient way of providing the required strength and stability. 

  • Irina S. Khokhlova added an answer:
    How to convert blood meal size from mg to ml?
    I have data on blood meal size in mg per flea. I need to convert it to volume. Could someone recommend me any publication about blood density in gerbils?
    Irina S. Khokhlova
    Thanks, Marshall. It's free! Got it. See you in Austin.

About Animal Anatomy and Physiology

The study of the physiology and anatomy of animals at a gross and microscopic level for veterinary application and research.

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