Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
An attempt is made to define lips, and on Danforth's interpretation of homology, homologous lips are found at certain stages of development in some representatives of all classes of vertebrates. The primary lips characteristic of selachians, after the maxillary and premaxillary bones have developed within the territory of the upper lip (toadfish, cod), may disappear (trout, Spelerpes), accompanied by a forward migration of the lower jaw. The secondary lips of higher forms are first indicated in certain teleosts and amphibians. Lips vary in structure to accord with their physiological functions, whether sensory, prehensile, or adhesive. Lips of the cod are highly sensory; those of the tadpole and of grazing animals, in different ways, are notably prehensile; the lips of petromyzon and the vampire, having abundant villi, are most effectively adhesive. Therefore, the smaller villi of the lips of suckling animals are presumably for tight adhesion to the nipple. The opossum and rat, however, nurse before their lips have developed. No free macroscopic villi are found on human lips, but there is a zone of thick epithelium tending to form villi. Such a zone is shown to be a widespread feature of vertebrate lips.
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