The external gills of anuran amphibians: Comparative morphology and ultrastructure

Nokhbatolfoghahai, M. and Downie, J.R. (2008) The external gills of anuran amphibians: Comparative morphology and ultrastructure. Journal of Morphology, 269(10), pp. 1197-1213. (doi: 10.1002/jmor.10655)

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The external gills of anuran amphibians are transient structures, covered by the development of the operculum and regressing soon afterwards. Their functional role has been regarded as equivocal. However, detailed morphological analysis has been limited. Analysis of 21 species from six families using scanning and transmission electron microscopy revealed diversity at the anatomical and cellular levels in extent and length of gill filaments, numbers of surface ciliated cells, width of water-blood barrier distance, and evidence of gill motility. The most highly developed external gills were found in species with delayed hatching, such as Phyllomedusa trinitatis, or in species in which hatchlings hang from the surface film of temporary ponds, such as Phrynohyas venulosa in which gills added 26-38% to body surface area. In one family, the bufonids, all four species examined had poorly developed gills, but in other families where we examined several species, the hylids and leptodactylids, there was considerable diversity of external gills, suggesting flexible adaptation to incubation and hatching environment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nokhbatolfoghahai, Dr Mohsen and Downie, Professor Roger
Authors: Nokhbatolfoghahai, M., and Downie, J.R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Morphology

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