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Anat Rec. 1991 Feb;229(2):271-7.

Topography and morphology of retinal ganglion cells in Falconiforms: a study on predatory and carrion-eating birds.

Author information

1
Departmento de Anatomía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago.

Abstract

The topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells and their cell body size have been studied in five Falconiform species, including predatory (chilean eagle Buteo fuscenses australis, and sparrow hawk Falco sparverius) and carrion-eating (chimango caracara Milvago chimango; condor Vultur gryphus, and black vulture Coragyps atratus) birds. All these species had a well defined nasal fovea and a horizontal streak. Instead of a temporal fovea as in eagles and hawks, an afoveate temporal area is present in chimango, condor, and vulture. The highest ganglion cell density was found in the nasal fovea of Falco and Buteo with 65,000 and 62,000 cells/mm2, respectively. A negative correlation between ganglion cell density and cell body size was found in all the species studied. The specializations of the temporal retina showed a rather homogenous population of medium sized neurons, while the nasal foveas showed a homogeneous population of smaller ganglion cells. Finally, the peripheral retina showed a heterogeneous population of large, medium, and small ganglion cells. Predatory behavior appears to be closely related to foveal specializations, and is best exemplified in the eagle and hawk and to a lesser extent in the chimango.

PMID:
2012314
DOI:
10.1002/ar.1092290214
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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