Histological, histochemical, and ultrastructural investigations on the gastrointestinal system of Antarctic seals: Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) and crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus)

Journal of Morphology
U SchumacherU Welsch


The morphology of the principal sections of the gastrointestinal system of two Antarctic seals with different dietary habits, namely, the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) and the crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus), has been investigated. Histologically examined by light microscopy, the tissue layers of the gastrointestinal tract of both seals are almost identical to those observed in most other mammals and no major differences in principle organization could be found between the two seal species. The ultrastructure of the gastric and intestinal epithelial cells has been examined and is also closely comparable to that of these cells in other mammals; however, Paneth cells have not been found in our material. In general, therefore, adaptations of the gastrointestinal tract to the aquatic environment or the diet are not obvious at the morphological levels of organization studied. Histochemical differences are found between the two closely related species; mucins of the surface epithelium in the stomach of Weddell seals are highly sulfated, while those in the crabeater seal are not. Mucous neck cells in Weddell seals contain acid mucosubstances, while those of crabeater seals contain neutral ones. Goblet cells in the smal...Continue Reading


Jun 1, 1976·The American Journal of Anatomy·D G Sheahan, H R Jervis
Jul 1, 1992·Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Comparative Physiology·U SchumacherU Welsch
Jan 1, 1992·The Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry : Official Journal of the Histochemistry Society·S S Spicer, B A Schulte
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Aug 1, 1987·The American Journal of Anatomy·U Schumacher, U Welsch
Sep 1, 1981·The Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry : Official Journal of the Histochemistry Society·S S SpicerB A Schulte
Nov 1, 1980·The American Journal of Anatomy·A Sato, S S Spicer

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