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The morphology of the Oberhäutchen with the description and distribution of scale organs in basiliscine iguanians

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The Oberhäutchen of basiliscine iguanians bears a honeycomb cell arrangement with posteriorly imbricating cell walls and micro-ornamentations of the " pit-and-groove" type. Bare, unsculptured, round scale organs (80-100 microns in diameter) occur throughout thc loreolabial region (including supralabial and infralabial scales) in all basiliscines in various patterns. They also occur at the posterior tip of each dorsal body scale, but are conspicuously absent from subdigital and ventral body scales, as well as appendages and tail. Interspecific variation of the morphology of the outer keratinized layer of these iguanians obscures any phylogenetic implications at the species level. A previously unreported "funnel" -type of scale organ is described on the internasal scales of Corytophanes percarinatus and is considered to be a unique diagnostic featurc.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, San Diego State University and Department of Herpetology, San Diego Natural History MuseumV.R. Herpetologie, Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, Vautierstraat 29, B-1040 Brussel, Belgium.


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