Postnatal Osteological Development of the Hyoid Bone in the New Zealand White Rabbit

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This study augments knowledge of bone growth by observing the development of the hyoid bone in the New Zealand White rabbit. Preserved hyoid bones representing five different age periods, each period including five individuals and the total number of animals being 25, were fixed in 3.5% formaldehyde solution and 95% ethanol, followed by a pure acetone bath. They were then stained with an alcian blue-alizarin red combination. The mode of bone formation was intracartilaginous type ossification. While the basihyoideum and thyrohyoideum were observed to start ossifying first at prenatal stage, indicating that they are the main skeletal structures of the hyoid apparatus, the ceratohyoideum and lingual process began to ossify in the second and third periods. The separately occurring primary ossification centres fused completely among themselves in the fifth period. Because no further ossification centers were observed and the ossified parts continued the development and growth, the research was terminated after 10 weeks of age.

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