British Flag

Russian Journal of Theriology

Morphofunctional interpretation of the quills stridulating in tenrecs (Lipotyphla, Tenrecidae) // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.5. No.1: 111 [in English].

ABSTRACT. The muscles providing the stridulating of quills in tenrecs (Hemicentetes, Tenrec ecaudatus and Echinops telfairi) were studied using histological and micromorphological methods. The complicated interlacement of the hypodermic muscle (m. cutaneus trunci) attaching to the quill bases was observed in Hemicentetes and Echinops. In this case, the alternate contraction of the cross-striated fibres causes the quills ability to vibrate rapidly and to rub together producing high (Hemicentetes), or low-frequency (Echinops) sounds (Eisenberg & Gould, 1970). The attachment of well developed mm. arrectores pilorum of the simple (Hemicentetes) and complex (Echinops) structure was also found on the bulbs of stridulating quills. Smooth skin muscles serve both for erection and elastic fixation of the quills, which is necessary prerequisite for the stridulation. In T. ecaudatus, in which the stridulating quills are completely lost in adult specimens, the individual fibres of m. cutaneus trunci were noted in the derm of dorsum skin. KEY WORDS: tenrecs, Hemicentetes, Tenrec ecaudatus, Echinops telfairi, stridulating quills, mm. arrectores pilorum, m. cutaneus trunci.