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The Mutual Relations of Structures in the Growing Bill of Chick (Gallus Domesticus L.) and Duck (Anas Platyrhynchos L.) Embryos

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Normal embryonic growth of the chick and the effects of experimental excision of the prospective upper or lower bill were studied in chick and duck embryos. A number of external dimensions of the head, including the bill, were measured, and the embryos were weighed. In normal embryonic development the upper bill grows faster than the lower bill up to stage 36, after which the picture reverses. The bill grows faster than the other parts of the head. Experimental excision was performed in chick and duck embryos of stages 26-28. After post-operational incubation until the period of stages 38-39 was reached, the changes were analyzed. The bill did not regenerate. Embryos without an upper bill show a retracted buccal corner, elongation of the lower bill, and alterations in the shape of the tip of the lower bill. Embryos without a lower bill show changes in the position of the upper bill in relation to the head. A hypothesis concerning the influence of the bill parts on each other during morphogenesis is put forward.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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