Journal article
Ontogenetic Development of the Derived Olfactory System of the Mantellid Frog Mantidactylus betsileanus

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Nowack, C.; Vences, M.
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Anatomical Record
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The nasal cavity of Mantidactylus betsileanus, a frog of the Madagascar-Comoroan endemic family Mantellidae, is characterized by a unique internal architecture. Unlike the state commonly observed in anurans, the two discernible olfactory subsystems of M. betsileanus (the main olfactory organ and the vomeronasal organ) are anatomically separated from each other, suggesting an enhanced functional differentiation. Here we evaluate the ontogenetic formation of this extraordinary anatomical state based on a histological study of a developmental series of M. betsileanus. The olfactory system of premetamorphic tadpoles, and most of its changes during metamorphosis, resembles that of other anurans. At the end of metamorphosis however, a growing obstruction of the passage between main olfactory organ and vomeronasal organ takes place, leading to the deviant morphological state previously described for adults. The late appearance of this atypical anatomical feature in the course of ontogeny agrees with the phylogenetic hypothesis of the observed obstruction representing a derived state for these frogs. From a functional point of view, the apparent autonomy of the vomeronasal organ is possibly linked to the presence of clade-specific femoral glands that are known to produce pheromones and that likewise are fully expressed in adults only. Anat Rec, 299:943-950, 2016. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Last updated on 2019-19-11 at 17:04