Rudimentary Eyes of Squamate Fossorial Reptiles (Amphisbaenia and Serpentes)

Rudimentary Eyes of Squamate Fossorial Reptiles (Amphisbaenia and Serpentes)

Author Foureaux, Giselle Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Egami, Mizue Imoto Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Jared, Carlos Google Scholar
Antoniazzi, Marta Maria Google Scholar
Gutierre, Robson Campos Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Smith, Ricardo Luiz Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Inst Butantan
Abstract The rudimentary characteristic of the eyes of fossorial animals raises some questions regarding its evolution and functionality. Would these eyes result from atrophy or from stagnated development? How would its visual function work? Anatomical investigations of these organs are the fundamental preamble to answer those questions, which are still little explored by the literature. in this article we have studied anatomical aspects of the eyes of three species of fossorial reptiles, within the suborder Amphisbaena (Amphisbaena alba, Amphisbaena mertensi, Leposternon infraorbitale), as well as a species within the ophidian suborder (Typhlops brongersmianus). the minuscule eyes (1-2 mm diameter) were visualized through a scale, a translucent area which corresponds to the spectacle. This spectacle is a thinner and transparent scale, covering a conjunctival sac. the retrobulbar space was filled with the harderian gland. the eyes of Typhlops presented an oval shape, whereas Amphisbaena specimens presented cup-shaped eyes. in Amphisbaenian sclera is comprised of cartilage, while the thin sclera of Typhlops consists of connective tissue and striated muscle fibers. the retina presented all the typical layers found in vertebrates, regardless the species. the characteristics involved in the fossil adaptation of these species include: reduced size of the eyeball, rudimentary cornea, absence of the anterior chamber, presence of a complex iris-ciliary body, and lens with amorphous nucleate cells. the analysis of the eye morphology of these animals suggests that there might be a specific function concerning light perception. Anat Rec, 293:351-357, 2010. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Keywords rudimentary eye
Language English
Date 2010-02-01
Published in Anatomical Record-advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology. Hoboken: Wiley-liss, v. 293, n. 2, p. 351-357, 2010.
ISSN 1932-8486 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Extent 351-357
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000274702300017

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