Anatomical investigation on the appendicular skeleton of the cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Introduction: The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a cosmopolitan species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Bubulcus. Cattle egret is popular for its role in the bio-control of cattle parasites and land pests. Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted on five adult, apparently healthy, cattle egrets. The birds were euthanized and the skeletons were prepared by the cold maceration method. Results: The appendicular skeleton of the cattle egret consists of the pectoral (shoulder) girdle and appendage, and pelvic girdle and appendages. The pectoral girdle comprises the long flat scapula, coracoid bone, and the united paired clavicles. Canalis triosseum is a canal formed by the attachment of the three bones of the pectoral girdle. The furcula formed fi brous connection with the sternum. The radius and ulna have the same length. The wrist comprises two carpal bones, carpometacarpus and three digits. The pubic bones are not fused ventrally. The pes consists of tibiotarsus, tarsometatarsus and four pedal digits. The tibiotarsus is longer than the femur. The spur is not found in the male bird. Conclusion: The skeleton of the cattle egret has a unique conformation that accommodates its ability to flight as well as being an insectivorous animal.
Key words: Anatomy, bone cleaning, cattle egret, limbs, skeleton, synsacrum