Morphological Study of the Eye Bulb of the Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini (Elasmobranch: Carcharhinidae)

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Muriana, C. B.; Vasconcelos, B. V.; Leandro, R. M.; Malavasi, C. E.; Amorim, A. F.; Rici, R. E. G.; Maria, D. A.; Miglino, M. A. & Ferreira, A.O.


The hammerhead sharks shows a head laterally expanded with eyes and nostrils on the edges, which gives the species a hammer appearance. Another strand of studies indicates that the hypothesis of head shape alterations for better adaptions in the sensorial system with the development of structures associated to binocular sight and others sensorial organs. Given the variety of characteristics, the study aim was to describe the anatomical constitution of the hammerhead shark eye bulb. The bulb and its annexes exenteration was performed, and further dissection; the morphological description of the muscle insertions and eye bulb components were based on direct observation and were further photographed and catalogued. The eye bulb fragments and its annexes were histological technical. Between the sclera and the choroid it was possible to observe, by the electronical scanning microscopy, the thin layer called supra-choroid, in this region, spaces often filled by lymphatic vessels allied to a matrix formed by loose conjunctive tissue are found. In the choroid, a layer which is rich in blood vessels, loose conjunctive tissue and collagen fibers, was observed, besides pigmentary cells full of melanin in its interior, which result in its layer’s dark color. Ciliary body is a choroid’s dilatation; it has the aspect of a thick ring in finger-like shape, pigmented, covering the sclera surface and containing pigmentary cells. The crystalline capsule, which shows an acellular covering that, is hyaline and homogeneous. In the electronical scanning microscopy, it was observed that the capsule is extremely thick especially in the anterior face. The capsule is very elastic, constituted mainly by thin lamellae of collagenous fibers, as illustrated by the electronically scanning microscopy. Anatomic variations related mainly to the position of the eye bulb in the skull, fibrous tunica and lens call the attention and must be related to its habitat.

KEY WORDS: Cartilaginous fish; Chondrichthyes; Vision; Microscopy; Morphology.

How to cite this article

MURIANA, C. B.; VASCONCELOS, B. V.; LEANDRO, R. M.; MALAVASI, C. E.; AMORIM, A. F.; RICI, R. E. G.; MARIA, D. A.; MIGLINO, M. A. & FERREIRA, A. O. Morphological study of the eye bulb of the hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini (Elasmobranch: Carcharhinidae). Int. J. Morphol., 35(1):287-292, 2017.