Morphology of the lingual apparatus of the domestic chicken, Gallus gallus, with special attention to the structure of the fasciae

Dominique G. Homberger, Louisiana State University
Ron A. Meyers, Louisiana State University


A detailed redescription of the mechanically interacting structural elements of the lingual apparatus of the domestic chicken, Gallus gallus, revealed the functional and constructional role of organized connective tissue (i.e., ligaments and fasciae) as structural elements that ensure the proper biomechanical interactions among the various structures within the lingual apparatus (e.g., cartilaginous and bony skeletal elements, muscles, salivary glands, epithelial structures). Fasciae, together with extrinsic muscles, also connect the lingual apparatus to the other components of the feeding apparatus, such as the skull, jaw apparatus, and larynx. For example, the hyoid apparatus is attached to the skull by a sheath‐like fascia (F. vaginalis), the internal structure of which is described here for the first time. Thus, the hyoid suspension in birds differs fundamentally from that in mammals. This study is the first to examine all biomechanically functioning structural elements that are part of the galliform lingual apparatus in a systematic and comprehensive manner. It also provides a set of novel characters that may be useful for future comparative studies in evolutionary and functional morphology. Copyright © 1989 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.