Morphological characteristics of the tongue of the rock cavy- Kerodon rupestris wied, 1820 (Rodentia, caviidae)


  • Amilton Cesar dos Santos Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Marian Mazeto de Aro Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Bruno Machado Bertassoli Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Diego Carvalho Viana Universidade de São Paulo
  • Bruno Gomes Vasconcelos Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso
  • Rose Eli Grassi Rici Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Moacir Franco de Oliveira Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido.
  • Maria Angélica Miglino Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Antônio Chaves de Assis-Neto Universidade de São Paulo.



caviidae, digestory apparatus, lingual papillae, rock cavy


The Kerodon rupestris are wild rodents bred in captivity in order to their conservation and development of researches. The aim of this study was describe the morphology of the tongue from eight animals by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, beyond macroscopic studies. The tongues of K. rupestris had 3.15 ± 0.28 cm of length; 1.0 ± 0.20 cm width at the root; 0.38 ± 0.10 cm width at the body; and, 1.10 ± 0.09 cm width at the apex. Thickness measurements were 0.50 ± 0.09 cm at the apex; 0.30 ± 0.10 cm at the body; and, 0.70 ± 0.10 cm at the root. The free apex had 0.50 ± 0.10 cm in length. The dorsal surface of the tongue contained the fungiform and filiform papillae at the apex and body; conical papillae and a pairs of vallate papillae at the root, and foliated papillae dorsolaterally positioned in the root region. The proper lamina of the dorsal surface of the tongue was composed by keratinized stratified squamous epithelium, in which lingual papillae were found; and, a rich network of skeletal striated muscle and non-modeled dense connective tissue, in which vessels, nerves, mucous and serous acini and their respective ducts were found. In summary, dorsal surface of the tongue of K. rupestris had filiform and conical papillae with mechanical function, and, fungiform, vallate and foliated papillae with taste buds responsible by gustatory function. Moreover, the tongue of these animals showed some peculiarities as the eminence on the apex in sagittal plane, which needs further studies.


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How to Cite

SANTOS, A.C. dos, ARO, M.M. de, BERTASSOLI, B.M., VIANA, D.C., VASCONCELOS, B.G., RICI, R.E.G., OLIVEIRA, M.F. de, MIGLINO, M.A. and ASSIS-NETO, A.C. de, 2015. Morphological characteristics of the tongue of the rock cavy- Kerodon rupestris wied, 1820 (Rodentia, caviidae) . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 1174–1182. [Accessed12 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v31n4a2015-26061. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences