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  Section: Anatomy of Vertebrate Animals » The Provinces of the Vertebrata - The Class Pisces
 
 
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The Sauropsida

 
     
 

II.-The Sauropsida
    1. Almost always possess an epidermic exoskeleton in the form of scales or feathers.
    2. The centra of the vertebrae are ossified, but have no terminal epiphyses.
    3. The skull has a completely ossified occipital segment, and a large basisphenoid. No separate parasphenoid exists in the adult. The prootic is always ossified, and either remains distinct from the epiotic and opisthotic throughout life, or unites with them only after they have anchylosed with adjacent bones.
    4. There is always a single, convex, occipital condyle, into which the ossified ex-occipitals and basi-occiptal enter in various proportions.
    5. The mandible is always present, and each ramus consists of an articular ossification, as well as of several membrane bones. The articular ossification is connected with the skull by a quadrate bone. The apparent "ankle-joint" is situated, not between the tibia and the astragalus, as in all Mammalia, but between the proximal and the distal divisions of the tarsus.


    6. The alimentary canal terminates in a cloaca.
    7. The heart is trilocular or quadrilocular. Some of the blood-corpuscles are always red, oval, and nucleated.
    8. The aortic arches are usually two or more, but may be reduced to one, which then belongs to the right side.
    9. Respiration is never effected by means of branchiae, but, after birth, is performed by lungs. The bronchi do not branch dichotomously in the lungs.
    10. A thoracic diaphragm may exist, but it never forms a complete partition between the thoracic and the abdominal viscera.
    11. The Wolffian bodies are replaced, functionally, by permanent kidneys.
    12. The cerebral hemispheres are never united by a corpus callosum.
    13. The reproductive organs open into the cloaca, and the oviduct is a Fallopian tube, whicb presents a uterine dilatation in the lower part ot its course.
    14. All are oviparous, or ovoviviparous.
    15. The embryo has an amnion, and a large respiratory allantois, and is developed at the expense of the massive vitellus of the egg.
    16. There are no mammary glands.

 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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