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Ontogenetic growth and the development of a unique fibrocartilage entheses in Macropus fuliginosus

Chinsamy, A. and Warburton, N.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-8498-3053 (2021) Ontogenetic growth and the development of a unique fibrocartilage entheses in Macropus fuliginosus. Zoology, 144 . Article 125860.

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Here we examine the bone histology of the femora and humeri of the Western Grey Kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus. Our results reveal that bone modelling in response to ontogenetic growth and the development of tuberosities on the femur, and especially in the humerus, lead to a highly complex histology. We propose that the alternating fast and slow rates of bone deposition are seasonal, and are likely correlated with heterothermy related to ecological constraints during the summer months. In females, after the fourth growth mark in the femur, there is a distinctive change to a more lamellar textured bone deposition with sparse vascularisation, directly indicating a slowdown in growth. However, in males, the zones remain woven textured and well vascularised, which is indicative of continued fast growth. Here we also report the novel occurrence of a fibrocartilaginous entheses for the attachment of the m. quadratus femoris to the caudal femoral tuberosity. Using a combination of methodologies, we show that perimeter measurements of growth marks provide a reasonable estimation of the age of kangaroos. Additionally, we observed large individuals that have ceased diaphyseal appositional growth of the femur and the humerus, as well as fusion of the distal epiphyses of both bones, though the proximal epiphyses may remain unfused.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier GmbH
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