Meeting Abstract

P3.154  Friday, Jan. 6  Structure of the dome pressure receptors in the skin of the alligator. SOARES, Daphne*; STREETS, Amy; Univ of Maryland College Park; Univ of Maryland College Park daphne.soares@gmail.com

Crocodilians have specialized sensory organs on their faces that can detect small disruptions in the surface of the surrounding water, and which are linked to a dedicated, hypertrophied nerve system. DPRs are round, dome-like structures which lack pores or protruding hairs. The epidermis is 40% thinner immediately above the DPRs, whereas the keratin layer is 60% thinner and more compact. A dermal fold below each organ contains a highly branched nerve bundle. Tract-tracing reveals secondary and tertiary branching directly under the epidermis and trigeminal innervation. Here we describe the ultrastructure of these organs and their organization.