Morphological studies on the axial skeleton of the African Lion (Panthera leo)
Author(s): Kenechukwu Tobechukwu Onwuama, Alhaji Zubair Jaji, Sulaiman Olawoye Salami and Esther Solomon Kigir
Abstract: The African lion (Panthera leo) is the largest carnivore. Despite being the best studied mammalian species in African ecosystem, there still exist a dearth of information on the morphology of its skeletal components, which is vital for diagnoses of bone diseases and archeological study. To this end, this study was aimed at documenting the morphological features and number of the bones making up its axial skeleton. It was conducted using two (2) lions that were obtained at different times after post mortem examinations of their carcasses at the Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Bone preparation was achieved via cold water maceration after proper defleshing. The Skull presented an elongated structure consisting of flat paired and unpaired cranial and facial bones accompanied with processes and foramina. The orbital margin was incomplete as the supraorbital foramen was absent with prominent orbital processes of the frontal and malar bone. The paired nasal bones formed the straight dorsum of the nasal cavity entirely such that it articulated ventro-cranially and ventro-caudally with the premaxilla and maxilla respectively. The Vertebral segments with a formula C7 T13 L7 S3 C20-21, presented a butterfly shaped wing of Atlas with a small foramen associated with the transverse foramen; cranially directed transverse process of the lumbar with the 7th making a 90-degree curve; semi fused transverse process and unfused spinous processes of the sacrum. The average total number of bones making up the axial skeleton was accounted to be 85. In conclusion, this study has provided a baseline datafor further biological, archaeological and comparative anatomical studies.
How to cite this article:
Kenechukwu Tobechukwu Onwuama, Alhaji Zubair Jaji, Sulaiman Olawoye Salami, Esther Solomon Kigir. Morphological studies on the axial skeleton of the African Lion (Panthera leo). Int J Vet Sci Anim Husbandry 2021;6(2):09-14.