Document Detail

Sublingual plicae (anterior processes) are not necessary for garter snake vomeronasal function.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9286097     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The anterior processes of snakes may transfer odorants from the tongue to the vomeronasal (VN) organ. To test whether the anterior processes are required for a vomeronasally mediated behavior, the authors tested garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) preoperatively and after cauterization of the anterior processes or control cauterization with artificial earthworms covered with earthworm wash (EWW) or distilled water. Snakes in both groups attacked EWW-covered artificial worms but not controls both pre- and postoperatively. In addition, snakes with anterior processes cauterization or control cauterization tongue flicked 3H-proline. Radioautographs of the VN organs of snakes with and without anterior processes were indistinguishable: Snakes in both groups had reduced silver grains over the VN sensory epithelium as had been reported previously with intact snakes. These findings indicate that the anterior processes are unnecessary both for a behavior known to require a functional VN system and for delivery of odorants to the VN organ.
M Halpern; S Borghjid
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)     Volume:  111     ISSN:  0735-7036     ISO Abbreviation:  J Comp Psychol     Publication Date:  1997 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-10-08     Completed Date:  1997-10-08     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309850     Medline TA:  J Comp Psychol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  302-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn 11203, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology*
Colubridae / physiology*
Discrimination Learning / physiology
Smell / physiology*
Tongue / physiology*
Vomeronasal Organ / innervation*
Grant Support

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