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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 duck was studied on the basis of the external dimensions, and the effects of experimental excision of the prospective upper or lower bill on the skeletal elements of the head were investigated in chick and duck embryos. The normal development of the duck is very similar to that of the chick. During the investigated period the duck shows two periods of rapid relative growth of the upper bill, with an intervening period of rapid relative growth of the lower bill. The changes occurring in stage 39 in chick and duck embryos modified surgically in stages 26-28 were investigated by the analysis of standardized photographs, taken in the lateral and ventro-dorsal directions, of stained and cleared heads. Embryos without an upper bill show changes in the size, shape, and position of the lower bill, the changes being most pronounced in the anterior region. These alterations concern the position of the quadrate, pterygoid, and jugal, as well as the shape, size, and position of the palatine. Embryos without a lower bill show changes in the size, shape, and position of the upper bill, and also in the position of the elements of the secondary upper jaw. In the duck, there is also an alteration in the size and shape of a number of elements. The hypothesis concerning the influence of the bill parts on each other during morphogenesis has been modified on the basis of the present results. The mutual influence exerted by the functional components of the mandible are discussed.

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


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