Report of Prof. Parker's Hunterian Lectures “On the Structure and Development of the Vertebrate Skull” *

    Abstract

    VII.—Skull of the Snake (Coluber natrix). AMONG the most noticeable features of the Ophidian skull may be mentioned the ivory-like texture of the bones, the immense strength and compactness of the brain-case, and the equally remarkable mobility of the facial bones, the maxillary and palatine apparatuses and the lower jaw being arranged in such a way as to allow of the greatest possible extension of the mouth during deglutition. Another important characteristic is the bony completeness of the brain-case, which is as thoroughly closed in as that of a mammal, scarcely any part of its walls being formed in the adult either by cartilage or fibrous tissue; the inter-orbital septum, also, or laterally compressed anterior moiety of the basis cranii, so characteristic of the Sauropsida, is absent, the base of the skull being flat throughout, and abruptly terminated in front. But the most interesting and at the same time most anomalous feature is the persistence of the fcetal trabecular, in the form of two slender cartilaginous rods (Fig. 23, Tr), lying in grooves on either side of the parasphenoid.

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    Report of Prof. Parker's Hunterian Lectures “On the Structure and Development of the Vertebrate Skull” * . Nature 10, 444–446 (1874) doi:10.1038/010444a0

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