Indian Journal of Animal Research

  • Chief EditorK.M.L. Pathak

  • Print ISSN 0367-6722

  • Online ISSN 0976-0555

  • NAAS Rating 6.50

  • SJR 0.263

  • Impact Factor 0.5 (2023)

Frequency :
Monthly (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December)
Indexing Services :
Science Citation Index Expanded, BIOSIS Preview, ISI Citation Index, Biological Abstracts, Scopus, AGRICOLA, Google Scholar, CrossRef, CAB Abstracting Journals, Chemical Abstracts, Indian Science Abstracts, EBSCO Indexing Services, Index Copernicus
Indian Journal of Animal Research, volume 55 issue 7 (july 2021) : 801-805

Gross Morphological Studies on the Vertebral Column of Indian Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis)

P. Sridevi, K. Rajalakshmi, M. Sivakumar, A. Karthikeyan
1Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Histology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry-605 009, India. 
Cite article:- Sridevi P., Rajalakshmi K., Sivakumar M., Karthikeyan A. (2020). Gross Morphological Studies on the Vertebral Column of Indian Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis). Indian Journal of Animal Research. 55(7): 801-805. doi: 10.18805/IJAR.B-4132.
Background: Indian eagle owl known to rotate their necks up to 270 degrees in either direction without injuring their vessels running below the head thereby without cutting off blood supply to their brains. The vertebral column in birds carry peculiar features like higher number of cervical vertebrae due to long mobile neck, lumbar and sacral vertebrae fused together giving rigidity which aid in flight. The extensive fusion of vertebral column posterior to the neck provides the required rigidity in the trunk region, this inflexibility feature might reduce weight, as it avoids the need for extensive musculature to maintain a streamlined and rigid body posture during flight. The current study aimed to study the vertebral column of Indian eagle owl in order to understand the anatomical adaptations related to this species.  
Methods: The specimens were procured from three Indian eagle owl brought for post mortem examination during the year 2019 to the Department of Veterinary Pathology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry. After completion of the post-mortem examination the carcass was collected and macerated as per the standard technique and various measurements on vertebral column bones were measured using vernier calliper.  
Result: The study revealed that vertebral column of Indian eagle owl consisted of 14 cervical vertebrae, 7 thoracic vertebrae, 13 to 14 lumbar vertebrae fused with sacral vertebrae forming synsacrum and 7 coccygeal vertebrae. The hypapophyses of the 14th cervical vertebra and first two thoracic vertebrae were trifid in nature specific feature seen in Indian eagle owl. The vertebral column had characteristics features of hypapophyses, transverse process, pneumatic foramen and neural spine which enable the owl to adapt for head rotation and various task involving vertebrae.
  1. Bellairs, A.D.A. and Jenkins, C.R. (1960). The skeleton of birds. In: Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, Vol. 1 Academic Press, New York pp. 241-300.
  2. Bohmer, C., Plateau, O., Cornette, R. and Abourachid, A. (2019) Correlated evolution of neck length and leg length in birds. R. Soc. Open Ssci. 6: 181588.
  3. Choudhary, O.P. and Singh, I. (2015). Morphometrical studies on the skull of Indian blackbuck (Antelope cervicapra). Int J. Morphol. 33(3): 868-876.
  4. De Iuliis, G. and Pulera, D. (2011). The Pigeon. In: The Dissection of Vertebrates, Published by Elsevier Inc. pp: 287-310.
  5. De Kok-Mercado, F., Habib, M., Phelps, T. (2013). Adaptations of the owl’s cervical and cephalic arteries in relation to extreme neck rotation. Sci. 339: 514-515.
  6. Guinard, G., Marchand, D., Courant, F., Gauthier-Clerc, M. and Le Bohec, C. (2010). Morphological, ontogenesis and mechanics of cervical vertebrae in four species of penguins (Aves: Spheniscidae). Polar Biol. 33: 807-822.
  7. Hiraga, T., Sakamoto, H., Nishikawa, S., Muneuchi, I., Ueda, H., Inoue, M., Shimura, M., Uebayashi, Yasuda, N., Momose, K., Masatomi, H and Teraoka, H. (2014). Vertebral formula in red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) and hooded crane (Grus monacha). J. Vet. Med. Sci. 76(4): 503-508.
  8. Hogg, D.A. (1982). Fusions occurring in the post cranial skeleton of the domestic fowl. J. Anat. 135(3): 501-512.
  9. Houston, D.C. (1987). Competition for food between neotropical vultures in forest. IBIS., 130: 402-417. 
  10. Kaneko, Y., Endo, H., Narushima, E., Hashizaki, F., Sugiyama, T. and Kusuhara, S. (2009). Morphological observations on the cervical vertebrae of a Japanese crested ibis, Nipponia nippon. J. Jpn. Assoc. Zoo Aquarium. 50: 47-55. 
  11. Krings, M., Nyakatura, J.A., Fischer, M.S. and Wagner, H. (2014). The cervical spine of the american barn owl (Tyto furcata pratincola): I. Anatomy of the Vertebrae and regionalization in their S-shaped arrangement. PLoS ONE. 9(3): e91653. 
  12. Mclelland, J. (1990). A color Atlas of Avian Anatomy. Wolfe Publishing LTD. pp. 33-46.
  13. Nickel, R., Schummer, A. and Seiferle, E. (1977). Anatomy of domestic birds. Verlag Paul Parey, Berlin and Hamburg pp. 5-25. 
  14. Ono, K. (1980). Comparative osteology of three species of Japanese cormorants of the Genus Phalacrocorax (Aves, Pelecaniformes). Bull. Natl. Sci. Mus. Ser. C (Geol). 6: 129-151.
  15. Rezk, H.M. (2015). Anatomical investigation on the axial skeleton of the cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis. Assiut Vet. Med. J. 61: 145.
  16. Sridevi, P., Rajalakshmi, K. and Sivakumar, M. (2019). Gross Anatomical Studies on the Cervical Vertebrae of Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci. 8(08): 2271-2276.
  17. Tahon, R.R., Ragab, S.A., Abdel Hamid, M.A. and Rezk, H.M. (2013). Some anatomical studies on the skeleton of chickens. Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University. Ph.D. Thesis. 
  18. Takashima, Y. and Mizuma, Y. (1981). The comparison of skeletons of chicken, Japanese quail and chicken-quail hybrid. Tohoku J. Agr. Res. 32: 139-145.
  19. Zusi, R.L. and Storer, R.W. (1969). Osteology and mycology of the head and neck of the pied-billed grebes (Podilymbus). University of Michigan of Zoology. Miscellaneous Publications. 139: 1-49.

Editorial Board

View all (0)