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Gross Morphology and Morphometry of Thoracic and Lumbar Vertebrae in a Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)

Thippan Mayakkannan Sundaram Venkatesan Geetha Ramesh S. Ushakumary Thandavan Arthanari Kannan
Vol 7(8), 189-197

The present study aimed to document the gross morphological and morphometric details of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae of Indian Marsh Crocodile. The bones were prepared from a crocodile carcass brought for post-mortem examination. The thoracic and lumbar vertebrae were 12 and 5 in number respectively. The vertebrae in both the region were of Procoelous type. The changes in vertebral morphology were evident around T4–T5 (cranial versus caudal thoracic series), L1–L2 (caudal thoracic and first lumbar versus remaining lumbar series) and L5–S1 (lumbar versus sacral). The pre-zygapophyseal angle was always greater than 90 degree and increased slightly throughout the thoracic column and neural spine inclination shifted gradually from caudal to vertical. The mugger crocodile did not display a diaphragmatic or anticlinal vertebra. In lumbar region, length of the centrum and transverse processes decreased gradually from L1 to L5 and height of the spinous process increased from L1 to L5. Length and width of transverse processes decreased gradually from L1 to L5. These variations in thoracic and lumbar vertebral morphology explained the role of axial column in crocodilian locomotion which is functionally different from mammals, even during analogous gaits.

Keywords : Marsh Or Mugger Crocodile Thoracic and Lumbar Vertebrae Gross Anatomy Morphometry

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