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The Pulmonary Anatomy of Alligator mississippiensis and Its Similarity to the Avian Respiratory System
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Volume 295, Issue 4, pages 699–714, April 2012
How to Cite
Sanders, R. K. and Farmer, C.G. (2012), The Pulmonary Anatomy of Alligator mississippiensis and Its Similarity to the Avian Respiratory System. Anat Rec, 295: 699–714. doi: 10.1002/ar.22427
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 20 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 5 JUL 2011
- NSF. Grant Number: IOS-0818973
- S. Meyer
Using gross dissections and computed tomography we studied the lungs of juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Our findings indicate that both the external and internal morphology of the lungs is strikingly similar to the embryonic avian respiratory system (lungs + air sacs). We identified bronchi that we propose are homologous to the avian ventrobronchi (entobronchi), laterobronchi, dorsobronchi (ectobronchi), as well as regions of the lung hypothesized to be homologous to the cervical, interclavicular, anterior thoracic, posterior thoracic, and abdominal air sacs. Furthermore, we suggest that many of the features that alligators and birds share are homologous and that some of these features are important to the aerodynamic valve mechanism and are likely plesiomorphic for Archosauria. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals Inc.