This descriptive study examined the variation in ventral Crocodylus porosus (saltwater crocodile) belly skin. The study is the first to determine both intra and inter variation of C. porosus skin, epidermis and dermis thickness across the ventral belly region. Standardised ventral scales from across the belly region of a Hatchling (< 12months), Yearling (1–2 years) and Grow Out (>2 years) animals were examined using histological measurements for the stratum (s.) corneum, a combined measure for the remainder of the epidermis; the s. granulosum, s. spinosum and s. basale, and the dermis. This study determined that there was a thinning across all layers of the belly skin, from the head to the cloaca, and a decrease in thickness scales in lateral scales compared to midline scales. Variation within a scale was found predominately in the s. corneum and can be related to the change in keratin type from beta- to alpha- in the hinge (inter-scalar) region and the integumentary sensory organs. Future studies should utilise a larger sample size and consider less invasive imaging techniques.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2022|