Fetal development in the normal thick-tailed bushbaby (Galago crassicaudatus panganiensis)

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Abstract

Fetal development was examined at days 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, or 135 of gestation in 19 thick-tailed bushbaby fetuses (Galago crassicaudatus panganiensis) from 17 normal, timed pregnancies. With the exception of day 135, all fetuses were collected by hysterotomy (gestation = 133 ± 2 days). Various weights and measurements were taken. Although fetal sizes varied widely, crown-rump, crown-heel, upper and lower arm and leg lengths, hand and foot lenghts, and fetal organ weights correlated well with fetal age. Key changes in gross brain morphology and skeletal ossification of cranium, pelvis, tarsals, carpals, and epiphyses were noted. Sternabrae ossification proved highly variable, while ossification in the otic capsule and associated ear structures correlated well with age. These data provide a normal base for studies using fetal developmental parameters whether the purpose is to determine gestational age or to design future studies.

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