Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The left ovary of the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo, is rudimentary, and the right ovary supplies both oviducts which share a common ostium situated in the falciform ligament. Preceding ovulation the nidamental gland of each oviduct hypertrophies and the caudal two-thirds of each oviduct is modified to form a uterus. In the Florida-Caribbean area Sphyrna tiburo probably mates in March and 3-7 eggs are fertilized in the vicinity of the nidamental gland of each oviduct.The developing embryo is nourished during the first 3-4 months of gestation by yolk stored in its extensive yolk sac. Approximately three and one-half months after fertilization, the distal portion of the yolk sac becomes convoluted and interdigitates with deep folds in the uterine wall to form a yolk-sac placenta. As the placenta develops, the maternal uterine epithelium is reduced from columnar cells to squamous cells, and the foetal yolk-sac epithelium is reduced from columnar and cuboidal cells to squamous cells. Exchange between the maternal and foetal blood systems takes place through maternal endothelium, reduced maternal epithelium, egg-case membrane, reduced foetal epithelium, and foetal endothelium.
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