Faculty Publications

Title

Hatching and residual yolk internalization in lizards: evolution, function and fate of the amnion

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

J. Sean Doody

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Date Issued

March 2013

Date Available

March 2013

ISSN

1520-541X

Abstract

Most egg-laying vertebrates hatch without depleting the entire yolk reserve. The residual yolk is internalized before emergence from the egg is completed and the yolk is subsequently metabolized during early neonatal life. Here we provide the first description of the mechanism of yolk internalization in non-avian reptiles. We describe the hatching of two lizard species (Physignathus lesueurii and Varanus rosenbergii) and provide a step-by-step account of sequence of events leading to yolk internalization and emergence from the egg. We also conducted incubation experiments to determine the cause of failed yolk internalization. Contraction of the ruptured amnion is the mechanism by which the residual yolk is internalized, which provides an explanation for the functional significance of amniotic contractions. Failures of internalization occur when the amount of residual yolk exceeds that which can be enclosed by the ruptured amnion. We conclude that, because of the connections formed between the amnion and both the allantois and chorion, the pipping and retraction of the amnion pulls the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) off the surface of the eggshell, which impairs the capacity for gas exchange and forces the embryo to breach the eggshell to commence breathing. We further speculate that the loss of amniotic contractions in mammals may indicate an incompatibility of amnion-assisted yolk internalization with viviparity, an evolutionary process that could be tested by examining viviparous squamates.

Comments

Citation only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.

Language

en_US

Publisher

WILEY

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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