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Intraoral Food Transport in Testudo Hermanni (Chelonia, Cryptodira) - a Radiographic Video Analysis

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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 kinematics of intraoral food transport of Testudo hermanni were investigated by radiographic video analysis. Small lead markers and contrastmedia marked food pellets were used to describe the movements of the hyolingual apparatus, the jaws, and the food passage during feeding events. The feeding cycle is divided into food uptake, several intraoral transport cycles, and finally swallowing of the food. The results show features of a terrestrial feeder highly adapted to herbivorous diet: usage of tongue during ingestion, tongue-based intraoral transport combined with food manipulation prior to swallowing. The tongue of T. hermanni is equipped with long papillae and numerous lingual glands. Roughness of the tongue surface and sticky saliva produce interlocking forces acting on the food which facilitate food uptake, transport, and manipulation. Cineradiographic analysis enables complete documentation of the food passage during feeding events and, combined with conventional video recordings, allows more valid statements about the kinematics of feeding mechanisms.

Affiliations: 1: Clinic of Radiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterindrplatz 1, A-1210 Vienna, Austria; 2: Institute of Zoology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria


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