Morphological, histological and ultrastructural (sem) characterization of the egyptian tortoise’s tongue
Sheren A Al-Zahaby, Nasr S Elsayed, Sahar S Hassan
The present histological and SEM ultrastructural studies designate that, the tongue of Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) is divided into hind, mid and blunted non-bifurcated fore tongue. It has a heavily papillose dorsal topographic surface due to copious lingual filiform papillae distributed all over the three tongue sectors. Flattened and/or dome-shape cuboidal papillae are widely distributed on the dorsal surface of the fore- and hind-tongue, they appeared fused with narrow inter-papillary spaces. However, long columnar papillae cover the mid-tongue and pre-glottal are in addition to seldom circumvallate and fungiform ones. Microridges, microvilli and many glandular pores are distributed on the dorsal surface of the tongue including papillae. It seems that they work on the retention and spreading of mucous, secreted by a well-developed glandular system of compound alveolar units laying underneath the different papillae and open in-between. All of the above tongue’s organization in addition to intrinsic tongue musculature and relatively small cartilaginous hypoglossum are typical morphological tongue’s features of tortoises that feed exclusively on dry plant food on land as the Egyptian tortoise.