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You are here: Home / Publications / Bibliographies and Resource Guides / Information Resources on Big Cats   / Cheetah - Anatomy  Printer Friendly Page
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Cheetah - Anatomy

Carstens, A., R.M. Kirberger, T. Spotswood, W.M. Wagner, and R.J. Grimbeek (2006). Ultrasonography of the Liver, Spleen, and Urinary Tract of the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound the Official Journal of the American College of Veterinary Radiology and the International Veterinary Radiology Association 47(4): 376-383. ISSN: 1058-8183.
Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8261.2006.00157.x
NAL Call Number: SF757.8.A4
Abstract: Diseases of the abdomen of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) include those affecting the liver, spleen, and urinary tract. The most common diseases of captive-bred cheetah are gastritis, gastric ulceration, glomerulosclerosis, and hepatic veno-occlusive disease, and are the most frequent causes of mortality in these animals. The purpose of this study was to describe the ultrasonographic anatomy of the normal liver, spleen, kidney, and urinary bladder of the anesthetized captive-bred cheetah. Twenty-one cheetahs were examined. Eight of the 21 animals had subclinical evidence of either gastritis or chronic renal disease. The ultrasonographic appearances of the liver, gall bladder, common bile duct, and spleen were evaluated and various measurements made. Statistical analyses of the measurements were performed on all the healthy and subclinically ill animals taking sex, age, mass, and anesthetic protocol into account. There were no significant differences in any parameters between the healthy and subclinically ill animals (P>0.25) and data were combined for statistical analyses. The mean mass was 41.1 kg (pl8.8) and the mean age was 5.0 years (pl2.2). The mean thickness of the liver medial to the gall bladder was 67.0 mm (pl14.8) and the liver was within the left costal arch in 75% of animals, extended caudal to the right costal arch in 50% of animals for an average of 30 mm, and extended caudal to the sternum in 63% of animals for an average of 32.5 mm. The maximum mean hepatic vein diameter at the entrance to the caudal vena cava was 8.6pl2.8 mm; the mean diameters of the portal vein at the hilus and that of the caudal vena cava as it entered the liver were 7.5pl1.6 and 9.9pl4.1 mm, respectively. The mean diameter of the caudal vena cava was significantly affected by the type of anesthetic used (P<0.10). The mass of the animals was significant in explaining the variance in maximum portal vein diameters (P<0.10). The mean maximum velocity of the hepatic vein flow at the entrance to the caudal vena cava was 25.3pl2.8 cm/s (n=4), the hilar portal vein was 11.7pl3.3 cm/s (n=7), and the caudal vena cava was 33.8pl19.8 cm/s (n=5). The mean maximum gall bladder length and width, and the mean common bile duct diameters were 44.6 mm (pl10.4), 23.3 mm (pl5.0), and 8.1 mm (pl2.4), respectively. Age was significant in explaining the variance in gall bladder lengths (P<0.10). Urinary tract ultrasonography was performed only in animals that had normal urea and creatinine levels (n=13). Renal cortico-medullary distinction was present in all kidneys and a cortico-medullary rim sign was seen in 21 of 26 kidneys. Mean kidney length, height, and width was 63.9pl5.7, 38.1pl5.2, and 42.1pl5 mm, respectively. The average resistivity index was 0.58 (n=5). Mean urinary bladder length, height, and width were 57.0, 19.2, and 34.9 mm, respectively.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, liver, spleen, urinary tract, ultrasonography, radiology, diseases, abdomen gastritis, anatomy.

Hackendahl, N.C. and S.B. Citino (2005). Radiographic kidney measurements in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians 36(2): 321-2. ISSN: 1042-7260.
Abstract: The prevalence of chronic renal disease is substantial among captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). The purpose of this study was to determine kidney measurements from radiographs of captive cheetahs (n = 15) with normal renal function. The ratio of kidney length to length of the body of the second lumbar vertebrae has been established for domestic cats with normal renal function. The mean ratio of renal length to length of the second lumbar vertebra was 1.81 +/- 0.14 in cheetahs. This baseline data may allow an objective evaluation of radiographic kidney size in cheetahs. However, evaluation of a small number of cheetahs with confirmed renal failure resulted in a similar ratio.
Descriptors: cheetah, captive animals, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, histology, kidney anatomy, histology, kidney radiography, reference values, renal disease, kidney mesurements, radiographs.

Kirberger, R.M., H.B. Groenewald, and W.M. Wagner (2000). A radiological study of the sesamoid bones and os meniscus of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 13(4): 172-177. ISSN: 0932-0814.
NAL Call Number: SF910.5.V4
Abstract: A radiological study of the sesamoids was undertaken in differing numbers of joints from 10 cheetahs. Each sesamoid was described and measured. Sesamoids were not found in the elbow and tarsal joints. A sesamoid was found in the abductor digiti 1 longus muscle as well as paired sesamoids were found at the interosseous muscle insertions palmarly of digits #1-5 and plantarly of digits #2-5. There were significant differences between abaxial and axial lengths of some of these sesamoids and the palmar sesamoids were significantly shorter than their plantar counterparts. In the stifle, a patellar, a popliteal and two gastrocnemius sesamoids were present. The lateral gastrocnemius sesamoid was significantly longer than the medial one and had a peculiar bilobed appearance. An os meniscus was constantly present in the cranial aspect of the medial meniscus. The shape of the sesamoids and the presence of an os meniscus in the cheetah differed from those seen in the domestic dog and cat and were ascribed to differences in form and function. Reproduced with permission of CAB.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, radiological study, sesamoid bones, os meniscus, species differences.

Kuenzel, W., A. Probst, and W. Henninger (1998). Anatomy and radiography of the shoulder joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Anatomia Histologia Embryologia 27(2): 119-124. ISSN: 0340-2096.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, radiology, shoulder joint, anatomy, anatomical structures, bones, muscles, ligaments, dissection, corrosion casts.
Language of Text: German.

Kunzel, W. and A. Probst (1999). Die anatomischen Verhaltnisse am Karpalgelenk des Geparden (Acinonyx jubatus), verglichen mit jenen der Hauskatze (Felis catus). [Anatomic features of the carpal joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), compared with the domestic cat (Felis catus)]. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia 28(3): 177-182. ISSN: 0340-2096.
Abstract: The anatomy of the carpal joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) was examined in seven specimens using dissection and corrosion casts as well as radiography, and compared to well-known data of the domestic cat (Felis catus). It was found that in the cheetah, as in the domestic cat, the intermedioradial, ulnar and accessory carpal bones, as well as the first, second, third and fourth carpal bones and the sesamoid bone of the abductor pollicis longus muscle, develop in a regular manner. The bones had a similar shape and the ligamentous apparatus was comparable, the most striking differences being the connection of all compartments of the joint cavity and the mediocarpal joint, working as a screw joint. The syndesmosis between the intermedioradial and ulnar carpal bones, instead of a synovial connection, is another adaptation for stabilization of the carpus of the cheetah during locomotion. The joint capsule is little spacious and in all three recesses can be differentiated. The first extends proximally palmar the ulnar carpal bone between the styloid process of the ulna and the accessory carpal bone, the second also extends proximally mediopalmar of the intermedioradial bone, and the largest third recess is located on the dorsal surface and extends proximally, laterally to the inserting tendon of the extensor carpi radialis muscle.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, histology, carpal bones, histology, joints anatomy, histology, forelimb, muscle, skeletal anatomy, histology, comparison to domestic cats.
Language of Text: German.

Kunzel, W. and A. Probst (1998). Anatomische Besonderheiten am Ellbogengelenk des Geparden (Acinonyx jubatus). [Anatomic characteristics of the elbow joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)]. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia 27(3): 167-172. ISSN: 0340-2096.
Abstract: Anatomical structures of elbow joints of six cheetahs were examined by dissection, corrosion casts and radiography. As a result, it was observed that the distal end of humerus is divided into the trochlea humeri for articulation with the ulna and the capitulum humeri for articulation with the radius. As the trochlea humeri is posed oblique and looks like a disc-shaped cone sector, flexion. Flexion of elbow joint is always combined with adduction of the distal parts of the limb, and, respectively, extension with abduction. The cylindrical but also in sagittal direction convex capitulum humeri enables the head of the radius all movements on a spheric sector. Furthermore, advantageous preconditions for rotation in the proximal radioulnar joint are the mighty medical coronoid process, the displacement of the radial tuberosity to the caudal surface of the radius and the insertion of the biceps brachii muscle exclusively on this elevation of the radius. Limiting factors are the insertions of collateral ligaments at the antebrachial skeleton. The lateral collateral ligament inserts only on the radius, the medial collateral ligament mainly on the ulna. The radial anular ligament directly connects the two coronoid processes of the ulna and moreover is intracapsular. The joint capsule is common for both the cubital and the proximal radioulnar joint and five pouches could be described. These were between the lateral epicondyle of humerus and the olecranon, underneath the tendon of origin of the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle, cranially in the bend of the elbow joint, between the head of the radius and the tendon of origin of supinator muscle and the lateral part of radial anular ligament, just as between the medial epicondyle of humerus and the tendons of origin of flexor muscles of the forearm.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, joints anatomy, histology, forelimb, humerus, radius, ulna.
Language of Text: German.

Kunzel, W. and A. Probst (1996). Anatomy and radiography of the stifle joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Wiener Tierarztliche Monatsschrift 83(2): 43-50. ISSN: 0043-535X.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, stifle joint, radiography, limbs, Felidae.
Language of Text: German.

Londei, T. (2000). The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) dewclaw: specialization overlooked. Journal of Zoology (London) 251(4): 535-537. ISSN: 0952-8369.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, behavior, dew claw, specialization, evolution, adaptation, predatory behavior, rudimentary digits, anatomy.

O'regan, H.J. (2002). Defining cheetahs, a multivariate analysis of skull shape in big cats. Mammal Review 32(1): 58-62. ISSN: 0305-1838.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, skull shape, multivariate analysis, skeletal system, big cats, movement, support.

Ohale, L.O. and H.B. Groenewald (2003). The morphological characteristics of the antebrachiocarpal joint of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, The 70(1): 15-20. ISSN: 0030-2465.
Abstract: A morphological study of the structures of the antebrachiocarpal (AC) joint of the cheetah was carded out by dissection of eight forelimbs obtained from four adult cheetahs culled from the Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa. The aim was to evaluate the deviations of this joint from the normal feline pattern and to consider their possible relationship to the cheetah's adaptation to speed. Although published data on the AC joint of the other felids show general resemblance to that of the cheetah, there are nevertheless slight, but significant variations and modifications which tend to suggest adaptation to speed. The shafts of the radius and ulna of the cheetah are relatively straight and slender, with poorly developed distal ends. The ulnar notch is reduced to a very shallow concavity while the corresponding ulnar facet is a barely noticeable convexity, separated from the distal ulnar articular facet by an ill-defined groove. The movement of the distal radio-ulnar joint is highly restricted by the presence of a fibro-cartilaginous structure and a strong interrosseous membrane, limiting pronation and supination normally achieved by the rotation of the radius around the ulna. The extensor grooves at the distal extremity of the radius are deep and narrow and are guarded by prominent ridges. A thick extensor retinaculum anchors the strong extensor tendons in these grooves. The distal articular surface of the radius is concave in all directions except at the point where it moves into its stylold process. At this point it is convex in the dorsopalmar direction, with a surface that is rather deep and narrow. The proximal row of carpal bones presents a strongly convex surface, which is more pronounced in the dorsopalmar direction with the greatest convexity on the lateral aspect. Medially, there is a ridge-like concavity across the base of the tubercle, which rocks on the flexor surface of the radius, limiting excessive flexion as well as restricting lateral deviation of the AC joint.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, histology, carpal bones, joints anatomy, histology, running physiology, adaptation, forelimb, radius anatomy, antebrachiocarpal joint, dissection, deviations, normal feline pattern.

Russell, A.P. and H.N. Bryant (2001). Claw retraction and protraction in the carnivora: the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as an atypical felid. Journal of Zoology (London) 254(1): 67-76. ISSN: 0952-8369.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, claw retraction, protraction, felid, phalanges, morphology, manipulative capabilities, forelimb, forepaws.

Russell, P. and H.N. Bryant (1997). Claw retraction in felids: how the cheetah cheats. Journal of Morphology 232(3): 318. ISSN: 0362-2525.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, skeletal system, movement, support, paws, feet, claw retraction, manus, morphology, pes, phalanges, phalanx, felids, meeting information.
Notes: Fifth International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology, Bristol, England, UK; July 12-17, 1997.

Sims, C. (2001). Morphological distinctions in skulls of five felids (Puma concolor, Panthera onca, Panthera pardus, Uncia uncia, and Acinonyx jubatus). Journal of Morphology 248(3): 285. ISSN: 0362-2525.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, skull, morphological distinctions, skeletal system, cougar, jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, species comparison study.
Notes: Sixth International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology, Jena, Germany; July 21-26, 2001.

Valkenburgh, B.v., J. Theodor, A. Friscia, A. Pollack, and T. Rowe (2004). Respiratory turbinates of canids and felids: a quantitative comparison. Journal of Zoology 264(3): 281-293. ISSN: 0952-8369.
Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0952836904005771
Abstract: The respiratory turbinates of mammals are complex bony plates within the nasal chamber that are covered with moist epithelium and provide an extensive surface area for the exchange of heat and water. Given their functional importance, maxilloturbinate size and structure are expected to vary predictably among species adapted to different environments. Here the first quantitative analysis is provided of maxilloturbinate structure based on high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans of the skulls of eight canid and seven felid species. The key parameters examined were the density of the maxilloturbinate bones within the nasal chamber and how that density varied along the air pathway. In both canids and felids, total maxilloturbinate chamber volume and bone volume increased with body size, with canids having c. 1.5-2.0 times the volume of maxilloturbinate than felids of similar size. In all species, the volume of the maxilloturbinates varies from rostral to caudal, with the peak volume occurring approximately midway, close to where airway cross-sectional area is greatest. Interspecific differences among canids or felids in maxilloturbinate density were not consistent with adaptive explanations, i.e. the densest maxilloturbinates were not associated with species living in arid or cold habitats. Some of the observed variation in maxilloturbinate form might reflect a need for both low- and high-resistance pathways for airflow under alternative conditions. Reproduced with permission of CAB.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, animal anatomy, computed tomography, quantitative analysis, respiration, skull, Alopex lagopus, coyotes, lions, Lycaon pictus, Lynx rufus, ocelots, Vulpes cinereoargenteus, Vulpes vulpes, wolves.

Williams, T.M., G.P. Dobson, O. Mathieu Costello, D. Morsbach, M.B. Worley, and J.A. Phillips (1997). Skeletal muscle histology and biochemistry of an elite sprinter, the African cheetah. Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 167(8): 527-35. ISSN: (p) 0174-1578; online; 1432-136X.
Abstract: To establish a skeletal muscle profile for elite sprinters, we obtained muscle biopsy samples from the vastus lateralis, gastrocnemius and soleus of African cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Muscle ultrastructure was characterized by the fiber type composition and mitochondrial volume density of each sample. Maximum enzyme activity, myoglobin content and mixed fiber metabolite content were used to assess the major biochemical pathways. The results demonstrate a preponderance of fast-twitch fibers in the locomotor muscles of cheetahs; 83% of the total number of fibers examined in the vastus lateralis and nearly 61% of the gastrocnemius were comprised of fast-twitch fibers. The total mitochondrial volume density of the limb muscles ranged from 2.0 to 3.9% for two wild cheetahs. Enzyme activities reflected the sprinting capability of the cheetah. Maximum activities for pyruvate kinase and lactate dehydrogenase in the vastus lateralis were 1519.00 +/- 203.60 and 1929.25 +/- 482.35 mumol min-1.g wet wt-1, respectively, and indicated a high capacity for glycolysis. This study demonstrates that the locomotor muscles of cheetahs are poised for anaerobically based exercise. Fiber type composition, mitochondrial content and glycolytic enzyme capacities in the locomotor muscles of these sprinting cats are at the extreme range of values for other sprinters bred or trained for this activity including greyhounds, thoroughbred horses and elite human athletes.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, anatomy, histology, metabolism, skeletal muscle cytology, skeletal metabolism, dogs, glycolysis, horses, locomotion, muscle fibers, fast twitch ultrastructure, skeletal ultrastructure, pyruvate kinase metabolism.

 

 

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