A comparative histological study of the osteoderms in the lizards Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae) and Varanus komodoensis (Squamata: Varanidae)
Journal of Anatomy
We describe the histological appearance of the osteoderms (ODs) of Heloderma suspectum and Varanus komodoensis using multiple staining and microscopy techniques to yield information about their morphology and development. Histological analysis showed that the ODs of H. suspectum are composed of three main tissue types, a superficial layer, herein identified as osteodermine, capping a base composed of Sharpey-fibre bone and lamellar bone rich in secondary osteons (Haversian bone tissue). In
... ne tissue). In contrast, ODs in V. komodoensis are composed of a core of woven bone surrounded by parallel-fibred bone without a capping tissue. Thus, in these two species, ODs differ both in terms of their structural composition and in details of their skeletogenesis. The histology of the mineralised tissues observed in these two reptile taxa provides insights into the mechanism of formation of lizard ODs and presents a direct comparison of the histological properties between the ODs of the two species. These data allow greater understanding of the comparative histological appearance of the dermal bones of lizards and highlight their structural diversity.