Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Spermatogenesis in the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

The giant anteater (superorder Xenarthra) is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a low reproductive rate is considered one of the factors contributing to population decline of the species. Nevertheless, little is known on reproductive features in male giant anteaters and, in this regard, microscopic testis morphology and spermatogenesis were studied in roadkill specimens in Brazil. Characteristics of germ cell populations resembled descriptions in other eutherian mammals including other xenarthran species. Furthermore, eight stages of the seminiferous epithelium cycle could be defined. The proposed staging system offers baseline data for assessing impairments or seasonal changes in spermatogenesis and thus allows future studies on reproductive health and reproductive seasonality in male giant anteaters.

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