Animal Research International

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The oesophagus of the African palm squirrel (Epixerus ebii): a micro anatomical observation

Ekele Ikpegbu, Chikera Samuel Ibe, Uchenna Calistus Nlebedum, Okechukwu Nnadozie


The oesophageal micromorphology of the rodent, African Palm Squirrel was investigated to fill the dearth of information on the histology of this organ from available literature and help in understanding its digestive tract biology. The organ after harvesting was subjected to routine histological procedure for light microscopy. The organ microanatomy was typical of the histology of mammalian tubular organ. The well-developed epithelium was of stratified squamous cells. The laminar propria containing elastic tissue fibres was apparently smaller than the large epithelium and muscularis mucosae. The muscularis mucosae striated muscle was arranged longitudinally. The small submucosa contained thin regular connective tissue. The tunica muscularis was made up of skeletal muscle cells which were arranged in an inner circular and outer oblique orientation, with the myenteric plexus located between these two muscle layers. The adventitia contained blood vessels. The well-developed epithelium is an adaptation to rough and coarse feed it consumes in the wild especially the fibrous coat of the oil palm fruit and other hard nuts.

Keywords: Histology, Myenteric plexus, African palm squirrel, Elastic fibres, Nigeria

AJOL African Journals Online