The papillae of the tongue dorsal surface of the insectivorous, hibernating bats (Vespertilionidae and Rhinolophidae), whose function is mainly sensorial, consist of two circumvallate papillae, two foliate papillae, located at the side edges at the glossopalatine arch, and numerous fungiform papillae. The circumvallate and foliate papillae are characterized not only by their position, but also by presence of several taste buds which open through the external orifice of the gustatory canal into the cavity of the vallum, or furrow, which divides the two folds of the lingual mucosa. The fungiform papillae (extremely numerous on the whole dorsal surface) are characterized by an unusual arrangement (along 3 oblique lines on the anterior two-thirds and predominantly on the middle line of the tongue body) and by the presence of only one to three taste buds which open on the heavily keratinized dorsal epithelial surface. The taste buds are made up of sensory cells with a light or dark matrix; their apical cytoplasmic expansions are not found beyond the middle part of the gustatory canal, in contrast with the circumvallate and foliate papillae which protrude from the orifice of the gustatory pore. Comparisons with the papillae of other types of bats and Insectivora and evaluations of the morphological characteristics and their functional values (unusual areas of distribution of the papillae, apical cytoplasmic expansions and behaviour of microfolds observed under SEM) have been made in different environmental conditions and nutritional habits, with attention to the mechanical events in the course of feeding.
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su rivista|