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The Mechanoreceptor Organs of the Lamellirostral Birds (Anseriformes, Aves)

Avilova, K.V., Fedorenko, A.G., Lebedeva, N.V.
Biology bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences 2018 v.45 no.1 pp. 51-60
Anseriformes, ducks, encapsulation, herbivores, keratinocytes, mechanoreceptors, waterfowl
Two types of surface tactile epidermal formations are identified in the bill tip organ of 11 species of lamellirostral birds. Their density arrangement and ratio in the mandible and maxilla are greater in dabbling ducks (filter-feeder species) than in herbivorous and in actively pursuing species. The length and proportions of the connective tissue tubules enclosing the encapsulated mechanoreceptors in filter-feeder species differ significantly from the others. The vibroreceptor endings are significantly more numerous in filter-feeder species and the touch endings in nonfiltering ones. The latter are smaller in the filter-feeder species. Within the walls of the connective tissue tubules, tactile epitheliocytes are registered for the first time. The structure of keratinocytes separating epidermal papillae of the bill tip organ apparently ensures their mobility. The bill tip organ is probably involved in the communication process of waterfowl.