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Larynx and Pharynx of Crows (Corvus Corone L. and C. Monedula L., Passeriformes: Corvidae)

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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).

The anatomy of the floor of the pharynx of Corvus is analyzed by dissection and SEM, and from microsections. Four main parts are described: the lingual base, the longitudinal pharyngeal grooves, the larynx and the ventral pharyngeal scrapers. The epidermal structures and the underlying muscle-bone apparatus are studied for the proper analysis of feeding, drinking, respiration and vocalization. A series of yet incompletely described structures is analyzed. The differences of larynx and pharyngeal scrapers in crow and pigeon are shown. The elements in Corvus are homologized with those described earlier in Gallus and in Columba. The differences in construction and in kinematic possibilities of Passeriform and non-Passeriform larynxes are discussed. This leads to the conclusion that the "drill-chuck" mechanism operating in pigeons, and probably in most other avian orders, can not work in the crow's larynx. This supports the assumption that 2 types of avian larynges are found: a Passeriform and a non-Passeriform type.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurobehavioural Morphology, Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, Kaiserstraat 63, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


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