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A comparative histological study of the osteoderms in the lizards Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae) and Varanus komodoensis (Squamata: Varanidae)

Kirby, A; Vickaryous, M; Boyde, A; Olivo, A; Moazen, M; Bertazzo, S; Evans, S; (2020) A comparative histological study of the osteoderms in the lizards Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae) and Varanus komodoensis (Squamata: Varanidae). Journal of Anatomy 10.1111/joa.13156. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

We describe the histological appearance of the osteoderms (ODs) of Heloderma suspectum and Varanus komodoensis using multiple staining and microscopy techniques to yield information about their morphology and development. Histological analysis showed that the ODs of H. suspectum are composed of three main tissue types, a superficial layer, herein identified as osteodermine, capping a base composed of Sharpey‐fibre bone and lamellar bone rich in secondary osteons (Haversian bone tissue). In contrast, ODs in V. komodoensis are composed of a core of woven bone surrounded by parallel‐fibred bone without a capping tissue. Thus, in these two species, ODs differ both in terms of their structural composition and in details of their skeletogenesis. The histology of the mineralised tissues observed in these two reptile taxa provides insights into the mechanism of formation of lizard ODs and presents a direct comparison of the histological properties between the ODs of the two species. These data allow greater understanding of the comparative histological appearance of the dermal bones of lizards and highlight their structural diversity.

Type: Article
Title: A comparative histological study of the osteoderms in the lizards Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae) and Varanus komodoensis (Squamata: Varanidae)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/joa.13156
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13156
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092776
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