Comparative Histologic Evaluation of Vertebrate Ovaries

Emmanuel Igho Odokuma


Comparative Anatomy is a subspecialty of Anatomical Sciences that deals with/involves the possible existing structural relatedness in organisms. By careful description of specific structures, organs or systems, comparisons are made that draw similarities or differences between organs. The aim of this area in Anatomy was to provide evolutionary or adaptive explanations for detected characteristics – including maintaining the ancestral line.

Materials and Methods

Permission for this descriptive and observational study was obtained from the research and ethics committee of the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, Delta State University, Abraka (Number DELSU/CHS/ANA/118). Five female animals of the vertebrate class were used for the study (one from each vertebrate class). The animals included: cat fish (Clariasgariepinus); toad (Bufobufo); agama lizard (Agama agama); domestic chicken (Gallus gallusdomesticus) and the Wistar rat (Rattusnorvegicus).


All the studied vertebrates except mammals showed growth and maturation of several follicles confirming the characteristic of multiple gestation characteristic of these animals. The phases of growth were very similar in all of the studied organisms. These follicles were disposed in a fibrous stroma capable of influencing the activity of the ovary, Lacunae were only found in birds and mammals.


The index study revealed several significant findings especially the occurrence of multiple stages of germ cell development in the female vertebrate gonads. These observations provided a vivid histologic basis for the argument of a common ancestral origin of the animal phylum albeit against the background of extensive impact of adaptational factors.


Comparative; Histologic; Vertebrates; Female; Gonads; Evolution; Adaptation

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