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The nasolacrimal duct of anuran amphibians: suggestions on its functional role in vomeronasal perception

Details zur Publikation
Nowack, C.
Journal of Anatomy
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Zusammenfassung, Abstract
Tear secretions discharged by the Harderian gland are suggested to function as a solvent for molecules sensed by the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in anurans. It has been assumed that chemical stimuli are absorbed at the surface of the eye to be carried - together with the lacrimal fluid - into the nasal cavity via the nasolacrimal duct. In the study presented herein, we examined the intranasal anatomy of 10 different anuran species to analyse the opening region of the nasolacrimal duct and its functional relationship with the VNO and the external naris. In addition, vital staining of the nasal cavities was conducted. Our results indicate that stimuli reaching the VNO are more likely to be ingested through the nostril than via the eye. In many cases the intranasal orifice of the nasolacrimal duct shows a close proximity to the external naris and simultaneously we observed a noticeable distance to the VNO. We suggest that the secretions of the Harderian gland are carried to the external naris by the nasolacrimal duct, where they bind chemical stimuli that are subsequently actively transported into the VNO. In some of the investigated species the opening region of the tear duct was situated in a more caudal part of the nasal cavity and closer to the VNO. In these cases a conspicuous system of channels can be found, which is suspected to carry the intruding medium of smell from the nostril to the nasolacrimal aperture.

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Zuletzt aktualisiert 2019-19-11 um 17:04