You HE, Xiao-Yong CHEN, Ti-Qao XIAO, Jun-Xing YANG. Three-dimensional morphology of the Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus (Cypriniformes:Cyprinidae) horn based on synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Zoological Research, 2013, 34(E5): 531128. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.E4-5.E128
Citation: You HE, Xiao-Yong CHEN, Ti-Qao XIAO, Jun-Xing YANG. Three-dimensional morphology of the Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus (Cypriniformes:Cyprinidae) horn based on synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Zoological Research, 2013, 34(E5): 531128. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.E4-5.E128

Three-dimensional morphology of the Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus (Cypriniformes:Cyprinidae) horn based on synchrotron X-ray microtomography

doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.E4-5.E128
  • Received Date: 2013-02-28
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-04-12
  • Publish Date: 2013-10-08
  • Sinocyclocheilus is a cave-dwelling cyprinid genus endemic to southwest China. Several species possess a conspicuous horn on their head, which has been suggested as a constructive troglomorphic trait but lacks substantial evidence. We used non-invasive, high spatial resolution synchrotron X-ray microtomography to investigate the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of the horn of Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus, one of eight such troglobiotic species. 3D renderings demonstrated the osteological components, which were comprised of a rear wall comprised of the supraoccipital bone, a remaining frontal wall with numerous fenestrae, and the bottom continuous with the parietal and epiotic. A horn cavity occurred within the horn. The fenestrae in the frontal wall were continuous in the horn cavity and showed elaborate channeling, and were, connected to the cranial cavity by soft tissue. We tentatively called this configuration the "otocornual connection" due to its anatomic and putative functional similarity to the otolateralic connection in clupeids and loricariids, which provide an indirect pathway to enhance perception of underwater sound signals. This study provides a functional morphology context for further histological and physiological investigations of such horn structures in Sinocyclocheilus cavefish, and we suggest that the horn might enhance acoustic perception to compensate for visual loss in subterranean life, which warrants future physiological examination as lab-reared S. hyalinus become available.
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