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The corn snake yolk sac becomes a solid tissue filled with blood vessels and yolk-rich endodermal cells.

Authors
  • Elinson, Richard P1
  • Stewart, James R
  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, , Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biology Letters
Publisher
The Royal Society
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
10
Issue
1
Pages
20130870–20130870
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0870
PMID: 24402715
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The amniote egg was a key innovation in vertebrate evolution because it supports an independent existence in terrestrial environments. The egg is provisioned with yolk, and development depends on the yolk sac for the mobilization of nutrients. We have examined the yolk sac of the corn snake Pantherophis guttatus by the dissection of living eggs. In contrast to the familiar fluid-filled sac of birds, the corn snake yolk sac invades the yolk mass to become a solid tissue. There is extensive proliferation of yolk-filled endodermal cells, which associate with a meshwork of blood vessels. These novel attributes of the yolk sac of corn snakes compared with birds suggest new pathways for the evolution of the amniote egg.

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