open access

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2017-06-14
Submitted: 2017-03-01
Accepted: 2017-05-30
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The gross anatomy of the male reproductive system of the European hedgehog (Erinaceus Europaeus)

G. Akbari, M. Babaei, D. Kianifard, D. Mohebi
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2017.0056
·
Pubmed: 28653306
·
Folia Morphol 2018;77(1):36-43.

open access

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2017-06-14
Submitted: 2017-03-01
Accepted: 2017-05-30

Abstract

Hedgehogs are small spiny-coated insectivores. Due to their low body weight, calm character, and easy maintenance, they are kept as pets. It is therefore worthwhile to care about hedgehogs’ health problems and to provide pet owners with information about their reproduction. Moreover, it is necessary to be familiar with their anatomy so as to satisfy the need to improve nutrition and medical care, even surgery. This study was carried out on five adult male European hedgehogs euthanased in a chloroform chamber. The European hedgehog’s oval testes are invisible in inguinal region because they have no true scrotal sac. The testes are located in the craniocaudal direction with dorsolateral epididymal attachments. The vesicular glands, the European hedgehog’s largest accessory sex glands, are lobulated structures containing dorsomedial and ventrolateral parts on each side. The prostate is an oval gland with right and left lobes. The paired bulbourethral glands are laid on the ischiocavernosus muscle. Histologically the vesicular, prostate gland ducts and ductus deferens as well as urethra separately were discharged in a diverticlum at the level of the pelvic urethra end. A sigmoid flexure exists in the proximal part of shaft body of the penis. There are two retractor penile muscles. In dorsal end of the penile glans, there is a small urethral process with two nail- -like, needle-shaped structures. They are on both sides of the urethral process. Furthermore, there are two intromittent sacs (Sacculus urethralis) in the ventral part of the end of the penis. (Folia Morphol 2018; 77, 1: 36–43)  

Abstract

Hedgehogs are small spiny-coated insectivores. Due to their low body weight, calm character, and easy maintenance, they are kept as pets. It is therefore worthwhile to care about hedgehogs’ health problems and to provide pet owners with information about their reproduction. Moreover, it is necessary to be familiar with their anatomy so as to satisfy the need to improve nutrition and medical care, even surgery. This study was carried out on five adult male European hedgehogs euthanased in a chloroform chamber. The European hedgehog’s oval testes are invisible in inguinal region because they have no true scrotal sac. The testes are located in the craniocaudal direction with dorsolateral epididymal attachments. The vesicular glands, the European hedgehog’s largest accessory sex glands, are lobulated structures containing dorsomedial and ventrolateral parts on each side. The prostate is an oval gland with right and left lobes. The paired bulbourethral glands are laid on the ischiocavernosus muscle. Histologically the vesicular, prostate gland ducts and ductus deferens as well as urethra separately were discharged in a diverticlum at the level of the pelvic urethra end. A sigmoid flexure exists in the proximal part of shaft body of the penis. There are two retractor penile muscles. In dorsal end of the penile glans, there is a small urethral process with two nail- -like, needle-shaped structures. They are on both sides of the urethral process. Furthermore, there are two intromittent sacs (Sacculus urethralis) in the ventral part of the end of the penis. (Folia Morphol 2018; 77, 1: 36–43)  

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Keywords

European hedgehog, male, penis, urethra, accessory sex glands

About this article
Title

The gross anatomy of the male reproductive system of the European hedgehog (Erinaceus Europaeus)

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)

Pages

36-43

Published online

2017-06-14

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2017.0056

Pubmed

28653306

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2018;77(1):36-43.

Keywords

European hedgehog
male
penis
urethra
accessory sex glands

Authors

G. Akbari
M. Babaei
D. Kianifard
D. Mohebi

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