Morphological, densitometric and mechanical properties of pelvic limb bones in 14-month-old female ostriches (Struthio camelus)

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Abstract

Limited information on physiological characteristic of bones in ostrich skeleton are available, even though bone weaknesses in ostriches are commonplace. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate morphological, densitometric, and mechanical properties of pelvic limb long bones (femur, tibia, and tarsometatarsus) in 14-month-old female ostriches (Struthio camelus var. domesticus). After the slaughter procedure, all bones were isolated, cleaned of soft tissues, and bone weight and length were determined. Using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were determined. Volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) and geometrical parameters of the bones were determined using the quantitative computed tomography (QCT) method. Maximum elastic strength and ultimate strength of the bones were determined using three-point bending test. Significant differences were revealed between morphological, densitometric, and mechanical properties of femur, tibia, and tarsometatarsus in female ostriches at the slaughter age of 14 months. Elaborated experimental model and determination of morphological, densitometric, and mechanical properties of femur, tibia, and tarsometatarsus in female ostriches may serve for further studies on metabolic regulation of skeletal system properties with environmental, physiological, dietary, pharmacological, and toxicological factors.

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