Morphology and histochemistry of the hyolingual apparatus in chameleons

A. Herrel, J. J. Meyers, Kiisa C Nishikawa, F. De Vree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We reexamined the morphological and functional properties of the hyoid, the tongue pad, and hyolingual musculature in chameleons. Dissections and histological sections indicated the presence of five distinctly individualized pairs of intrinsic tongue muscles. An analysis of the histochemical properties of the system revealed only two fiber types in the hyolingual muscles: fast glycolytic and fast oxidative glycolytic fibers. In accordance with this observation, motor-endplate staining showed that all endplates are of the en-plaque type. All muscles show relatively short fibers and large numbers of motor endplates, indicating a large potential for fine muscular control. The connective tissue sheet surrounding the entoglossal process contains elastin fibers at its periphery, allowing for elastic recoil of the hyolingual system after prey capture. The connective tissue sheets surrounding the m. accelerator and m. hyoglossus were examined under polarized light. The collagen fibers in the accelerator epimysium are configured in a crossed helical array that will facilitate limited muscle elongation. The microstructure of the tongue pad as revealed by SEM showed decreased adhesive properties, indicating a change in the prey prehension mechanics in chameleons compared to agamid or iguanid lizards. These findings provide the basis for further experimental analysis of the hyolingual system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Morphology
Volume249
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Chamaeleonidae
Lizards
histochemistry
tongue
Tongue
Motor Endplate
Muscles
muscles
connective tissues
Connective Tissue
elastin
polarized light
Elastin
Systems Analysis
Mechanics
mechanics
adhesives
Adhesives
microstructure
functional properties

Keywords

  • Chameleonidae
  • Functional morphology
  • Histochemistry
  • Morphology
  • Motor-endplate staining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

Morphology and histochemistry of the hyolingual apparatus in chameleons. / Herrel, A.; Meyers, J. J.; Nishikawa, Kiisa C; De Vree, F.

In: Journal of Morphology, Vol. 249, No. 2, 2001, p. 154-170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herrel, A. ; Meyers, J. J. ; Nishikawa, Kiisa C ; De Vree, F. / Morphology and histochemistry of the hyolingual apparatus in chameleons. In: Journal of Morphology. 2001 ; Vol. 249, No. 2. pp. 154-170.
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