Original Research

Thoracic limb morphology of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) evidenced by osteology and radiography

Modesta Makungu, Hermanus B. Groenewald, Wencke M. du Plessis, Michelle Barrows, Katja N. Koeppel
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 82, No 1 | a953 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v82i1.953 | © 2015 Modesta Makungu, Hermanus B. Groenewald, Wencke M. du Plessis, Michelle Barrows, Katja N. Koeppel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 12 March 2015 | Published: 15 July 2015

About the author(s)

Modesta Makungu, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Veterinary Surgery and Theriogenology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
Hermanus B. Groenewald, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Wencke M. du Plessis, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts, West Indies
Michelle Barrows, Veterinary Services and Conservation Medicine, Bristol Zoo Gardens, United Kingdom
Katja N. Koeppel, Johannesburg Zoo, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is distributed primarily in the Himalayas and southern China. It is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The aim of this study was to describe the normal osteology and radiographic anatomy of the thoracic limb of the red panda. Radiography of the right thoracic limb was performed in seven captive adult red pandas. Radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from three adult animals. The scapula was wide craniocaudally and presented with a large area for the origin of the teres major muscle. The square-shaped major tubercle did not extend proximal to the head of the humerus. The medial epicondyle was prominent. A supracondylar foramen was present. The radial tuberosity and sesamoid bone for the abductor digiti I longus were prominent. The accessory carpal bone was directed palmarolaterally. Metacarpal bones were widely spread. The thoracic limb morphology of the red panda evidenced by osteology and radiography indicated flexibility of the thoracic limb joints and well-developed flexor and supinator muscles, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Knowledge gained during this study may prove useful in identifying skeletal material or remains and diagnosing musculoskeletal diseases and injuries of the thoracic limb.


Keywords

Red panda; Ailurus fulgens; Thoracic limb; Anatomy; Osteology; Radiography

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Crossref Citations

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doi: 10.1111/ahe.12294