Gross morphology and topographical relationships of the hyobranchial apparatus and laryngeal cartilages in the ostrich (Struthio camelus)

03 Jun 2016

The ostrich hyobranchial apparatus consists of the centrally positioned paraglossalia and basiurohyale and paired caudo-lateral elements (horns), each consisting of the ceratobranchiale and epibranchiale. The paraglossalia lie within the tongue parenchyma and consist of paired, flat, caudo-laterally directed cartilages joined rostrally. The basiurohyale forms a single dorso-ventrally flattened unit composed of an octagonal-shaped body from which extend rostral (the rostral process) and caudal (the urohyale) projections. The laryngeal skeleton consists of cricoid, procricoid and paired arytenoid cartilages. The large ring-shaped cricoid cartilage displays a body and paired wings which articulate with each other and with the procricoid. The blunt, ossified, rostral projection of the cricoid and the scalloped nature of the arytenoid cartilages are unique to the ostrich. The procricoid is a single structure which links the paired arytenoids and wings of the cricoid. The hyobranchial apparatus is firmly attached to the tongue parenchyma and to the larynx and proximal trachea. In contrast to previous reports in this species, the horns of the hyobranchial apparatus are not related to the skull. Ossification of the body of the basihyale, the ceratobranchials and the rostral process and body of the cricoid cartilage of the larynx lends stability to these structures.