University of California

Microanatomy of the duodenum of the turkey


Lauren E. Rosenberg

Author Affiliations

Lauren E. Rosenberg was Instructor in Zoölogy, and Junior Zoölogist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 13(11):623-654. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n11p623. April 1941.

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The pathologist or physiologist dealing with mammalian subjects may refer to an extensive literature on normal histology when desiring to make comparisons with the phenomena he encounters. Workers in avian pathology or physiology find, on the other hand, that the histology of birds is not well known and that the articles are inconveniently scattered in a variety of journals in several languages. No comprehensive work on the complete normal histology of birds or of a single bird species has ever been published.

Recent attempts to solve problems dealing with intestinal disturbances in flocks of chickens and turkeys have emphasized this inadequacy. The present contribution deals with the detailed structure of the duodenum of the domestic turkey, Meleagris gallopavo.

To date, the best work on the histology of the bird intestine appears in eight papers by (Clara (1925) to (1927b), inclusive),3 constituting a comparative study of representatives of several orders of birds, including the Galliformes, but with nothing specifically on the turkey. (Calhoun (1933)) discusses the gross histology of the digestive tract of the domestic fowl, Gallus gallus domesticus, but her account is inadequate for the finer details of cell structure.

Though this paper deals mainly with tissues of the adult, it contains a brief section on the conditions obtaining in younger birds. The normal adults used were over eight months of age.4

Gross Structure

The duodenum in the turkey is considered to be that part of the small intestine extending from the exit of the gizzard to the entrance of the pancreatic ducts. From the gizzard the duodenum makes a long posterior loop within which are the lobes of the pancreas, the whole being held together by a mesentery.

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Rosenberg L. 1941. Microanatomy of the duodenum of the turkey. Hilgardia 13(11):623-654. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n11p623
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