Zoological Garden Poznan

Poznań, Poland

Zoological Garden Poznan

Poznań, Poland
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Jackowiak H.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | Skieresz-Szewczyk K.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | Kwiecinski Z.,Zoological Garden Poznan | Kwiecinski Z.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | And 2 more authors.
Zoological Science | Year: 2010

The nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes belongs to a group of bird species that use their beak and tongue as tools for obtaining food, such as seeds from hard-to-reach cones or nuts from shells. The aim of the present study, carried out with a scanning electron microscope, was to define the morphological features of the tongue of the nutcracker, which seems to be adapted to its environment through specific methods of obtaining food. One of the characteristic features of the nutcracker's tongue is the unique structure of the anterior part of the tongue, which has two long and highly keratinized processes - a product of the renewable keratinized layer of the epithelium covering the ventral surface of the tongue. These dagger-like processes, which are a modified "lingual nail," take a major role in levering up and shelling seeds, which are transported over the short sulcus-shaped body of the tongue. A unique feature of the nutcracker's tongue is the groove separating the body from the root. Two rows of highly keratinized, mechanical, conical papillae are located at the junction of the body and the root. These papillae are mechanically protective elements for passing food particles in the form of seeds. Among lingual glands, only the posterior lingual glands on the root of the tongue have been observed. Their secretion agglutinates dry food before it is swallowed. Results of the present study indicate that the nutcracker's tongue is an efficient tool resembling a lever that is helpful in shelling seeds. © 2010 Zoological Society of Japan.


Jackowiak H.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | Skieresz-Szewczyk K.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | Kwiecinski Z.,Zoological Garden Poznan | Godynicki S.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań | And 2 more authors.
Acta Zoologica | Year: 2015

The structure of the tongue in the white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is observed macroscopically and under light and scanning electron microscopy. Our observations of the tongue reveal a rare terminal reduction of the size of the tongue and microstructures of the lingual mucosa among the investigations of birds published so far. The short, triangular tongue with a pointed tip is approximately 2.5 cm long in the adult and is situated in the caudal part of the oral cavity close to the laryngeal prominence. On the dorsal surface of the tongue, no typical mucosa microstructures like lingual papillae, median groove or lingual prominence are observed. The main structure of the tongue is composed of rostral part of hyoid apparatus, that is, entoglossal cartilage connects with basihyoid. Very thin mucosa is composed of fibrous connective tissue covered with orthokeratinized epithelium. No lingual glands and muscles are observed in the lamina propria of mucosa. Even though the triangular shape of the tongue in the white stork is typical for birds, the inner structure of the reduced organ is composed only of flat cartilagineous entoglossum of hyoid apparatus. During feeding behaviour of the white stork, the food transportation in oral cavity called cranio-inertial transport is undoubtedly affected by structural reduction of the tongue. © 2015 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Rosin Z.M.,Adam Mickiewicz University | Kwiecinski Z.,Zoological Garden Poznan | Kwiecinski Z.,University of Life Sciences in Poznań
Ornis Fennica | Year: 2011

Food composition of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia has been widely studied by pellet analysis throughout Europe, but the effect of digestibility on pellet contents has remained unclear. We studied the effect of digestion on the composition of pellets (N= 480) under experimental conditions in Poznan Zoological Garden in 2004-2005. Twenty-four captive wild-born White Storks were fed mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, insects and earthworms. Only the remains of mammals, birds and insects were found in the regurgitated pellets. Bones were present in 13.1% of pellets. Three chosen osteological pellet components (skulls, mandibles and innominate bones) were analyzed to determine the amount of bone loss by digestion. The digestive efficiency was greater than 95%. Based on a literature review, we compared results of pellet analyses with methods not affected by digestion (direct observations and prey remains). The invertebrate : vertebrate ratio in the White Stork diet differed significantly between methods. Prey biomass rather than the number of prey items should be considered a better reflection of the diet.

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