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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.75 n.4 Pretoria  2008




Macroscopic features of the venous drainage of the reproductive system of the male ostrich (Struthio camelus)



M.Z.J. Elias; T.A. Aire; J.T. Soley

Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




The macroscopic features of the venous drainage of the reproductive system of the male ostrich were studied in six pre-pubertal and three sexually mature and active birds. Each testis was drained by one to four testicular veins. The right testicular veins drained the right testis and epididymis and its appendix to the caudal vena cava and to the right common iliac vein, whereas the left testicular veins drained the left testis and epididymis and its appendix exclusively to the left common iliac vein. A number of variations in the drainage pattern based on the point of entry and number of testicular veins were observed. The cranial aspect of the testis was also linked to the caudal vena cava or common iliac vein via the adrenal veins. The cranial, middle and caudal segments of the ductus deferens (and ureter) were drained by the cranial, middle and caudal ureterodeferential veins respectively, to the caudal testicular veins, the caudal renal veins and pudendal/caudal part of the internal iliac veins. In some specimens, the caudal ureterodeferential veins also drained into the caudal mesenteric vein. The surface of the phallus was drained by tributaries of the pudendal vein. The basic pattern of venous drainage of the reproductive organs of the male ostrich was generally similar to that described for the domestic fowl. However, important differences, including the partial fusion of the caudal renal veins, drainage of the cranial aspect of the testes via the adrenal veins, drainage of the caudal ureterodeferential veins into the caudal mesenteric vein and the presence of veins draining the surface of the phallus, were observed. Although significant, these differences may simply reflect variations in the normal pattern of venous drainage of the reproductive tract of birds which could be verified by studying more specimens and more species.

Keywords: Macroscopic features, male reproductive system, ostrich, Struthio camelus, veins



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Accepted for publication 10 September 2008-Editor



* Author to whom correspondence is to be directed. E-mail:
1 Present address: Veterinary Faculty, Department of Pre-clinics, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique

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