The morphology of female genitalia in Galea spixii (Caviidae, Caviinae)
The yellow-toothed cavy (Galea spixii) is a hystricomorph rodent of the Caviidae family. In Brazil, G. spixii are bred in captivity to provide an alternative protein source and to preserve the specie. However, there is a lack of data on the animalÂ´s female genital organs. Current research describes the morphology of the speciesÂ´s adult female genital organs, regardless of the stage of its estrous cycle, and permits basic knowledge on its anatomy that will be a help for future projects in reproduction in captivity. Adult female genital organs of G. spixii comprise two ovaries with follicles at several developmental stages; uterine tubes whose epithelium and muscle layer thickness modify themselves throughout the isthmus, ampulla and infundibulum regions; double uterus and uterine horns with uterine glands that open to a single cervix which is linked to the vagina by the fornix; a variegated vaginal epithelium from different animals; a vulva with a clitoris trespassed by the urethra which features a lack of vaginal vestibule and the presence of a vaginal closure membrane. The morphology of G. spixii female genitalia has interesting characteristics such as the vaginal closure membrane and a clitoris trespassed by urethra that needs further studies. Other investigations on developmental biology could demonstrate a possible intrauterine masculinization in the G. spixii female.
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