Skull anatomy of the endangered Patagonian huemul deer(Hippocamelus bisulcus)

Samuel Núñez-Cook, Fernando Vidal Mugica, Paulo Salinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies of the normal skull anatomy of the Patagonian Huemul deer are scarce. Currently, the findings of bone lesions in the skull associated with metabolic imbalances are frequent in the literature. The objective of this study was to provide anatomical and morphometric data of the cranium and facies including a morphofunctional interpretation as a reference for clinical, ecomorphological and educational purposes. Five skulls were described, measured, scanned and digitally reconstructed. The presence of a caudal projection of the vomer bone, the absence of the facial tubercle and thin bones forming the cranial cavity were observed. Linear measurements allowed the skull to be classified as dolichocephalic, hyperlepten and ultra-dolichocranial. In conclusion, the Patagonian Huemul has a long head, an extremely long skull and a very narrow face. The thickness of the bones that made up the walls of the cranial cavity suggests chronic metabolic imbalances in response to mineral deficiency. The anatomical and morphometric data obtained in this study strongly emphasizes the relevance of considering the implementation of such management policies that aim at promoting an optimal nutritional context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medicine Series C: Anatomia Histologia Embryologia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cranium
  • deer
  • facies
  • huemul
  • osteology
  • skull

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