Gross anatomical studies on the hind limb of the Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii)
The Sitatunga, Tragelaphus spekii, is a swamp dwelling antelope resident in West Africa. This study was carried out to document unique morphological and numerical information on the hind limb bones of this ruminant. Two (2) adults of both sexes were obtained as carcass at different times after post-mortem examination and prepared to extract the bones via cold water maceration for use in the study. The presence of a sharp pointed ilio-pubic eminence at the junction between the cranial border of the ilium and pubis; less prominent ischial tuber, inconspicuous ischiatic arch and a large oval obturator foramen were unique features of the Ossa coxarum that distinguished it from that of small ruminants. The Femur’s medial condyle was obliquely orientated, the fibula was absent while the long Tibia was typical of ruminant presentation. It was observed that the morphological features of the tarsals and Pes were also typical. However, the last Phalanges presented characteristic long triangular shaped bones with sharp pointed ends. The total number of bones making up the forelimb was accounted to be 45. In conclusion, this study has provided a baseline data for further biological, archeological and comparative anatomical studies.