Scanning electron microscopy and distribution of specialized mechanoreceptors in the texas rat snake, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri (Baird and Girard)

Morris K. Jackson, Mohamed M.H. Sharawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the surface tubercles of a specialized mechanoreceptor found within the head of Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri indicates that the tubercle consists of a craterlike structure with a peg emerging from its center. After removal of the outer keratinized layers of the epidermis, the SEM discloses a replicate tubercle on the underlying alpha keratin layer. Over 6000 tubercles were found within a single snake. The mechanoreceptors were more densely concentrated on anterior scales, and their number appears to be species specific so that they are more concentrated in snakes with smaller heads than in those with larger ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Morphology
Volume163
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

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Elaphe obsoleta
mechanoreceptors
Mechanoreceptors
Snakes
Electron Scanning Microscopy
snakes
scanning electron microscopy
Head
keratin
epidermis (animal)
rats
Keratins
Epidermis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

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AB - Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the surface tubercles of a specialized mechanoreceptor found within the head of Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri indicates that the tubercle consists of a craterlike structure with a peg emerging from its center. After removal of the outer keratinized layers of the epidermis, the SEM discloses a replicate tubercle on the underlying alpha keratin layer. Over 6000 tubercles were found within a single snake. The mechanoreceptors were more densely concentrated on anterior scales, and their number appears to be species specific so that they are more concentrated in snakes with smaller heads than in those with larger ones.

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