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Abstract

Rhinopoma hardwickei hardwickei has an annual reproductive cycle. Although many of the females become inseminated from the latter half of February until about the middle of April, ovulation has not been recorded until the 11th of March. A single follicle reached full development and released one ovum from either of the ovaries with nearly equal frequency, and a single conceptus was carried in the ipsilateral uterine cornu during each cycle. The embryo descended into the uterus as an early morula and attained the bilaminar blastocyst stage before undergoing implantation. As the morula advanced in age, the embryonic surface of the zona became progressively more basophilic. Hence in advanced morulae, the inner surface of the zona pellucida took a dark stain with hematoxylin and appeared like a distinct thin membrane, while the rest of the thickness of the zona was eosinophilic.

Although progestational changes commenced in both uterine cornua, they became augmented in the uterine cornu on the side of ovulation and blastocyst attachment. After blastocyst attachment, the contralateral cornu reverted to an anestrus condition. The progestational changes became less conspicuous from the cranial to the caudal end of the uterus. Evidently, there was a linear gradient in the progestational response of the uterus with the cranial end being most responsive and the caudal end least responsive. The precise mechanism which brings this about is not known.