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Anat Histol Embryol. 2008 Jun;37(3):169-76. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

Macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the oviduct in the sexually mature rhea (Rhea americana).

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Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, Av Prof. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, São Paulo, SP 05508-270, Brazil.


The morphological characteristics of the oviduct of 12 sexually mature rheas (Rhea americana) were studied. Only the left oviduct is developed as a long tube with a length of 122 +/- 23.1 cm, and is subdivided into infundibulum (15.2 +/- 4.0 cm), magnum (63.3 +/- 9.4 cm), isthmus (5.6 +/- 3.1 cm), uterus (16.0 +/- 4.2 cm) and vagina (11.5 +/- 1.4 cm). The mucous membrane of the oviduct, as a whole, possesses luminal folds covered by ciliated columnar epithelium with secretory cells. The infundibulum part presents a cranial opening with thin and long fimbriae with few tubular glands in caudal tubular portion. In the magnum, the largest portion of the oviduct, the folds are thicker and are filled with tubular glands. The isthmus is short and presents less bulky folds and a few tubular glands. A bag-shaped uterus in the cranial area shows thin folds, and in the caudal region (shell gland) more ramified folds with few tubular glands. The vagina has long luminal folds and a thick muscular tunic; no glands with sperm-storage characteristics have been observed. In conclusion, the oviduct in sexually mature rhea has morphological similarities with the other species of birds already described; however it presents its own characteristics to produce a big egg.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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