Gross anatomy of the female reproductive tract of the African sideneck turtle (Pelusios castaneus)
Gross anatomical investigations of the female reproductive organs of the African sideneck turtle (Pelusios castaneus) was carried out with a view to providing information needed in post-mortem clinical examination as well as in the comparative anatomy of the female reproductive tract of turtles. A total of ten adult female African sideneck turtles picked up at river banks in Ibadan, Nigeria, during the months of September and October, 2014, were used for the study. The female reproductive tract of the turtle in antero-posterior order comprises the ovaries, oviduct and cloaca. The oviduct comprises five regions: infundibulum, uterine tube, isthmus, uterus, and vagina. With the exception of the vagina, all other components of the oviduct are paired, on each side of the median plane of the turtle. The vagina is the most muscular portion of the turtle oviduct and links to the cloaca which leads to the exterior. This report is the first to describe the gross anatomy of the female reproductive tract of the African sideneck turtle thus serving as baseline information on these aspects of the anatomy of the animal. The findings are also expected to be useful in post-mortem examination of carcass and in the comparative anatomy of female reproductive tracts of turtles.