Embryonic development of the monitor lizard, Varanus indicus

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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Describing the stages of normal development of Varanus indicus, the present paper provides the first developmental data on Varanidae. The incubation period is relatively long (180 days at 28°C) and without any diapause. The development is rather slow during the first 50 days, after which a considerable acceleration can be observed. The stage of accelerated growth terminates at app. 100 days when all essential specificities of adult organisation (prolonged narial region with vomeronasal organ, eyes, claws, large heart and robust body and limbs) are established. The remaining period of the embryonic development is characterized by continuation of the respective trends, i.e., enlarging body, prolongation of rostrum, enlarging teeth and claws, keratinisation of claws and scales etc. In short, the second half of the embryonic development of Varanus is devoted to refining the structures supporting its adaptations for active predation.

Embryonic development of the monitor lizard, Varanus indicus

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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References

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Figures

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    Account of selected morphometric characteristics of embryonic development in Varanus indicus referred to the day of the incubation period (dpo).

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    Embryonic development of Varanus indicus, dpo 2-24. Each row of panels starts with a view of the whole embryo, followed by higher magnification view of important morphological features of the stage (head, limb, other). Scale bar for the intact embryo = 4 mm; scale bars for the subsequent panels = 2 mm. Lateral views. Dpo 2 (a-b) with closer view of pharyngeal arches and otic placode (b). Dpo 10 (c-e) with a closer view of head (d) and hindlimb bud (e). Dpo 24 (f-h) with closer view of the craniofacial region (g) and distinction of forelimb (h). aer, apical ectodermal ridge; au, autopodium; e, eye; np, nasal prominence; op, otic placode; pa, pharyngeal arch; pc, pharyngeal cleft; po, parietal organ; pg, pharyngeal groove; st, stylopodium; ze, zeugopodium. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Embryonic development of Varanus indicus, dpo 43, 32, and 56. Each row of panels starts with a view of the whole embryo, followed by higher magnification view of important morphological features of the stage (head, limb, other). Scale bar for the intact embryo = 4 mm; scale bars for the subsequent panels = 2 mm. Lateral views. Dpo 43 (a-c) with closer view of head (b) condensation of digits and in position of long bone (c) and cloacal swellings (d) and condensation of digits (c). Dpo 32 (e-g) with closer view of upper eyelid (f) and condensation of digits and joints (g). Dpo 56 (h-k) with closer view of regression of interdigital webbing (j) and area of the presumptive frontal bones (k). cs, cloacal swellings; h, heart; ue, upper eyelid; n, external naris; po, parietal organ. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Embryonic development of Varanus indicus, dpo 63-81. Each row of panels starts with a view of the whole embryo, followed by higher magnification view of important morphological features of the stage (head, limb, other). Scale bar for the intact embryo = 4 mm; scale bars for the subsequent panels = 2 mm. Lateral views. Dpo 63 (a-d) with closer view of both eyelids (b), digits with joints (c) and mandibular prognathism (d). Dpo 73 (e-h) with closer view of regression in cranial area (f) and well developer claws (h). Dpo 81 (i-k) with closer view of prolongation (j) and hind limb (k). hmp, hemipenes; le, lower eyelid; ue, upper eyelid; t, tympanum. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Embryonic development of Varanus indicus, dpo 88-103. Each row of panels starts with a view of the whole embryo, followed by higher magnification view of important morphological features of the stage (head, limb, other). Scale bar for the intact embryo = 4 mm; scale bars for the subsequent panels = 2 mm. Lateral views. Dpo 88 (a-d) with closer view of head (b), development of haw (c) and hind limb (d). Dpo 95 (e-h) with closer view of first mark of pigmentation on the claws (g) and ventral view of lower jaw with hexagonal scales (h). Dpo 103 (i-l) with closer view of distinct labial scales and external naris shallow depression (l). This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Embryonic development of Varanus indicus, dpo 103-161. Each row of panels starts with a view of the whole embryo, followed by higher magnification view of important morphological features of the stage (head, limb, other). Scale bar for the intact embryo = 4 mm; scale bars for the subsequent panels = 2 mm. Lateral views. Dpo 130 (a-d) with closer view of shutting eye and external naris flush and closed (b) and detail of hemipenises (d). Dpo 161 (e-h) with closer view of egg tooth (g). et, egg tooth; hmp, hemipenes; n, external naris; ys, yolk sac. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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