Histological Description of the Ostrich Female Reproductive System (Strutio camelus var. domesticus)

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Julio Illanes; Francisco Matus; Víctor Leyton; Felipe Venegas; Bárbara Fertilio & Mario Castro


In the 1990’s, ostrich production reached a peak in our country, boosted by the special characteristics of its meat and the potential of the derivatives. The breed raised is a hybrid called African Black (Struthio camelus var. domesticus) which has a high quality meat in terms of nutritional factors and flavor. With regard to reproduction, the female ostrich reaches maturity at the age of 2.5 years. Genital organs are very important in fowl’s production, because they can generate fertility deficiencies that, in turn can diminish brood number. Histological analysis allows a better understanding of the basic structure of the female’s genital organs and is a helpful tool to resolve breeding problems. For this analysis samples were obtained from the different segments of the reproductive system of 6 female ostrich in reproductive age. These samples were processed using standard histological technique. Sections were observed, photographed and analyzed under the light-microscope. Photographs were compared with hen’s samples. The ostrich female’s reproductive system has the particularity of having just the left ovary and oviduct developed. The ovary has a big size and a cluster shape which varies from season to season. It presents paramount, previtellogenic, vitellogenic and atresic follicles. The vitellogenic follicles have granulosa cells and inner and external theca. The oviduct presents cephalo caudally: infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, uterus and vagina, flowing into the urodeum. It shows long pleats of different length and number, with drusen of mucose and serose secretion,except in the vagina. The comparative histological analysis allowed us to establish that the basic structure of the female reproductive system is similar to that of the hen (Gallus gallus).

KEY WORDS: Ostrich; Histology; Female reproductive system.

How to cite this article

ILLANES, J.; MATUS, F.; LEYTON, V.; VENEGAS, F.; FERTILIO, B. & CASTRO, M. Histological description of the ostrich female reproductive system (Strutio camelus var. Domesticus). Int. J. Morphol., 36(4):1252-1261, 2018.