Variation of organ position in snakes.

08:00 EDT 11th October 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Variation of organ position in snakes."

The complex and successful evolutionary history of snakes produced variation in the position and structure of internal organs. Gravity strongly influences hemodynamics, and the impact on structure and function of the cardiovascular system, including pulmonary circulation, is well established. Therefore, we hypothesized that interspecific variation in the position of the heart and vascular (faveolar) lung should exceed that of other internal organs that are less sensitive to gravity. We examined the position of selected internal organs in 72 snakes representing 5 families and 13 species including fully aquatic and scansorial/arboreal species, representing the extremes of gravitational influence. Tests for differences of variance and coefficients of variation largely confirm that interspecific variation in position of the heart and vascular lung generally exceed those of other organs that we measured, particularly posterior organs. The variance of heart position generally exceeded that of more posterior organs, was similar to that of the anterior margin of the vascular lung, and was exceeded by that of the posterior margin of the vascular lung (variance ratio = 0.23). The gravity-sensitive vascular lung exhibited the greatest variation of any organ. Importantly, these findings corroborate previous research demonstrating the influence of gravity on cardiopulmonary morphology. Snakes offer useful model systems to help understand the adaptation of organs to a spectrum of conditions related to diversity of behavior and habitat across a broad range of related taxa.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of morphology
ISSN: 1097-4687


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