Comparative Anatomy of Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) and Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) Beaks Using Macroscopic Analysis and Computerized Tomography

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Catia Helena de Almeida Lima Massari; Adriano Ferreira Silva; Henrique Inhauser Riceti Magalhães; Dara Rúbia Souza Silva; Taís Harumi de Castro Sasahara & Maria Angélica Miglino


Clinically, avian medicine still finds it very difficult to treat wild patients due to the lack of reliable information about their anatomy and physiological parameters that make comparative analyzes possible. Considering that computed tomography (CT) is one of the most viable alternatives in radiography of the head, we describe the comparative anatomy of the beak in the Ara ararauna and the Ramphastos toco through this imaging modality and macroscopy analysis, providing additional information about their conformation and topography for clinical exams. Adult specimens of each were dissected after the CT and beaks were removed for macroscopic analyses. The macroscopic and tomographic findings for both species confirm the similarities in beak morphology and the dietary peculiarities of each.The CT scan proved to be a useful tool to visualize internal structures of the skull through a detailed virtopsy of regions that are difficult to access by the usual necropsy with a scalpel.

KEY WORDS: Bird anatomy; Morphology; Skull; Tomography exam.

How to cite this article

MASSARI, C. H. A. L.; SILVA, A. F.; MAGALHÃES, H. I. R.; SILVA, D. R. S.; SASAHARA, T. H. C. & MIGLINO, M. A. Comparative anatomy of blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) beaks using macroscopic analysis and computerized tomography. Int. J. Morphol., 38(6):1591-1596, 2020.