Gross Anatomy of the Brachial Plexus in the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
Ten forelimbs of five Myrmecophaga tridactyla were examined to study the anatomy of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexuses of the M. tridactyla observed in the present study were formed by the ventral rami of the last four cervical spinal nerves, C5 through C8, and the first thoracic spinal nerve, T1. These primary roots joined to form two trunks: a cranial trunk comprising ventral rami from C5‐C7 and a caudal trunk receiving ventral rami from C8‐T1. The nerves originated from these trunks and their most constant arrangement were as follows: suprascapular (C5‐C7), subscapular (C5‐C7), cranial pectoral (C5‐C8), caudal pectoral (C8‐T1), axillary (C5‐C7), musculocutaneous (C5‐C7), radial (C5‐T1), median (C5‐T1), ulnar (C5‐T1), thoracodorsal (C5‐C8), lateral thoracic (C7‐T1) and long thoracic (C6‐C7). In general, the brachial plexus in the M. tridactyla is similar to the plexuses in mammals, but the number of rami contributing to the formation of each nerve in the M. tridactyla was found to be larger than those of most mammals. This feature may be related to the very distinctive anatomical specializations of the forelimb of the anteaters.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2014