The Discovery of a Bone in the Anterior Fontanelle of the Skull of the Sheep (Ovis aries)

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Shaibu Mohammed Atabo; Abubakar Abubakar Umar; Sani Abdullahi Shehu & Adamu Abdul Abubakar


A comparative study of the skull morphology was conducted using 270 prenatal and 750 postnatal skull samples from three breeds of sheep in Nigeria namely, Balami, Uda and Yankasa. A unique bone peculiar to the Yankasa breeds of sheep was found consistently at the centre of the anterior fontanelle in the young (day-old to 1 year). At two years of age and above, the bone was fused and disappeared completely. This brings the total numbers of the neurocranium bones of the skull in the Yankasa breeds to 8, as against the 7 bones documented in the ovine species. Due to the fact that this bone has not been described in the literature, we venture to name it the anterio-fontanelle bone (of Atabo).

KEY WORDS: Yankasa; Skull; Neurocranium; Anterior fontanelle; bone; Atabo.

How to cite this article

ATABO, S. M.; UMAR, A. A.; SHEHU, S. A. & ABUBAKAR, A. A. The discovery of a bone in the anterior fontanelle of the skull of the sheep (Ovis aries). Int. J. Morphol., 41(3):971-974, 2023.