oa African Zoology - The functional anatomy of the neck and forelimbs of the Cape golden mole, Chrysochloris asiatica (Lipotyphla: Chrysochloridae)

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The anatomy of the neck and forelimb of Chrysochloris asiatica is descriptionbed and illustrated. The sequence of events during digging and modifications for fossorial action are descriptionbed. Modifications include the appearance of a third bone in the forearm; the shortening and fusion of bones in the manus; enlarged processes on the scapula, humerus and ulna for greater muscle attachment; enlarged neck muscles and a dip in the spine in the cervical region to accommodate these and the enlarged shoulder muscles; an enlarged occiput for insertion of the powerful neck muscles; a greatly enlarged triceps and movement of the shoulder girdle to a position anterior to that normal in mammals. The possibility of the third forearm bone being the ossified tendon of a flexor muscle is discussed, without any conclusion being reached as to its true origin.

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