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Early development of the chondrocranium in Salmo letnica( )(Teleostei: Salmonidae)

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The ontogenetic development of the chondrocranium of Ohrid trout Salmo letnica was studied from hatching until 92 days post‐hatching (dph). Most of the samples were in toto trypsin cleared and stained, some specimens were used for serial histological sectioning. The serial histological sections of fish specimens at the age of 92 dph were used for a graphical reconstruction of the cartilaginous neurocranium. A chronological evaluation of the formation of the cartilaginous skull in the early development of S. letnica was performed. In order to investigate to what degree the ontogeny of the Ohrid trout is unique, the results were compared with data of the development of other salmonids, as well as some non‐salmonid teleosts. The development of the cartilaginous structures of the Ohrid trout was found to be similar to that of other salmonids. Most of the cartilage structures of the neurocranium and the viscerocranium are present at the moment of hatching of this species. A fully developed chondrocranium was observed at the age of 92 dph, when the first signs of cartilage resorption could also be observed.

Keywords: Salmo letnica; Salmonidae; Salmoniformes; chondrocranium; ontogeny

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Sv Cyril & Methodius University, Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics, Institute of Biology, P.O. Box 162, 1000 Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia and 2: Ghent University, Department of Biology, Evolutionary Morphology of Vertebrates, Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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