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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Light-and electron microscopical observations on the terminal airways and the alveolar parenchyma of the antarctic seals Lobodon carcinophagus and Leptonychotes weddelli

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Springer (journals)
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  • U. Welsch 1,2
  • H. E. Drescher 1,2
  • 1) Department of Anatomy, University of Kiel, D-2300, Kiel, Germany
  • 2) Alfred-Wegener-Institut for Polar Research, D-2850, Bremerhaven, Germany

The terminal airways of two antarctic seals (Leptonychotes weddelli, Lobodon carcinophagus) are composed of typical small bronchi and bronchioles the initial segment of which contains cells probably representing Clara cells. The respiratory bronchioles are of considerable length. Their wall contains a highly developed system of spirally arranged bundles of smooth muscle cells. This is interpreted to represent the main means which by being closed before diving prevents the reabsorption of nitrogen while returning to the surface. The amount of smooth muscles evidently is greater in the deep diving Weddell seal than in the crabeater seal. The pneumocytes II occur both within the respiratory bronchioles and in the alveoli, their number seems to be relatively high in both species. The diameter of thin parts of the blood-air barrier in both species is 0.3–0.4 ?m (0.19–0.22 ?m in terrestrial mammals). The alveolar septa contain myofibroblasts and one layer of capillaries. The connective tissue of both seals lung is highly developed forming a dense, strong meshwork of septa and a thick pleura visceralis. The septa contain bundles of smooth muscle cells and extensive lymphatic vessels. Due to its particularly thick septa the lobulaton of the lung tissue of the Weddell seal is more obvious than in the crabeater seal, however, in both species the amount of connective tissue in the interlobular septa and the pleura visceralis is greater than in terrestrial carnivores.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - vertebres: systeme digestif
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - biodiversity conservation
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Polar Biology

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  • Mammiferes
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