Placental and fetal tissues were recovered from the uteri of 59 pregnant elephant that ranged in estimated age from day 18 to month 21 of gestation. Incubation of placenta and fetal gonad, alone or in combination, with tritium-labelled cholesterol, pregnenolone and androstenedione failed to yield any labelled progestagens or oestrogens from placenta, but did produce small amounts of labelled progesterone and 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone from fetal gonad.
Cardiac anomalies in humans occur in about 1% of human births. Most are a developmental disorder of the vascular trunk and septum of the heart, which result in reduced blood circulation to periphery. This report of a cardiac anomaly in a neonatal elephant is first to the author's knowledge. A congenital defect known as tetrology of Fallot is described in a male Asian elephant who lived for 9 hours following birth.
The vertebral column, sternum and ribs of the African elephant were studied and illustrated. In the cervical series, the vertebrae are characterized by very short (compressed) vertebral bodies and short spinous processes. There are 20-21 thoracic vertebrae that carry ribs, and three lumbar vertebrae. The neural arches of the five sacral vertebrae fuse with each other as well as with the wings of the ilium, while the intervertebral discs do not ossify and the vertebral bodies remain separate. There are 19-21 caudal vertebrae.
The pelvic girdle was characterized by large, transversely-placed ilial wings. The femur was the longest bone of the skeleton and its fovea capitis was situated caudomedially between the epiphyseal line and the articular surface of the femoral head. A wedge-shaped patella articulated with the femoral trochlea. The bones of the crus were approximately half as long as the femur and consisted of the sturdy tibia and slender fibula. The condyles of the tibia were concave and the femoro-tibial joint was congruent with rudimentary menisci.
This study documents the characteristics of the sensory innervation and cutaneous receptors in the dermal and epidermal skin of the extreme trunk tip (finger) and adjacent skin of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus by light microscopy. During the flehmen response the elephant moistens the trunk tip with liquids of interest and apparently uses this tip for transport of such substances to the mucous-filled openings of the incisive ducts, which lead to the vomeronasal organ. We expected to find this region of the trunk tip richly innervated, perhaps with…