• M Balakrishnan

      Articles written in Proceedings – Animal Sciences

    • Feeding behaviour of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan K M Alexander

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      A detailed study on aspects of feeding behaviour of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens, was made. The first solid food intake commenced on the 14th day and weaning occurred on the 20th day after birth. Olfaction was the primary sense involved in food searching. Prey killing was effected by a characteristic neck-bite. Death-shake could be seen when the shrews predate on earthworm or on rodents such as rats. Shrews hoard food when a large number of insects as food was offered. A thorough mastication of the food was observed before swallowing.

    • Effect of fasting on aspects of feeding of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan K M Alexander

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      Studies on food deficit drives of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens, have been made. The time taken by shrews experimentally subjected to definite periods of food deprivation to reach the food steadily decreased upto 4 hr of deficit, and thereafter a zig-zag pattern was discernible. The duration of eating bouts increased after shrews were motivated for food for a period of upto 36 hr. The amount of food intake by shrews steadily increased when subjected to differential food deficit drives upto 12 hr and subsequently declined. No significant sexual dimorphism was observed in the differential food deficit drives inSuncus murinus viridescens.

    • Effect of castration and oral administration of sex hormones on some specialised integumentary glands of the male musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan K M Alexander

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      Effect of castration and oral administration of sex hormones on the specialised apocrine sudoriferous glands of the perineal region and the holocrine sebaceous glands of the flank and oral lip regions of the male musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens is investigated. Gonadectomy effected a significant regression and hypotrophy of the sudoriferous as well as sebaceous glandular structures of the shrew. The secretory epithelial cells were depleted and the tubules were devoid of any secretory material at the end of one month of castration. Subsequent administration of methyltestosterone daily for four weeks reactivated all these glands, whereas the gross morphological features of sebaceous glands did not vary at any significant level after treatment with ethinyloestradiol daily for four weeks. However, partial rejuvenation in the cellular structures was noticed in all these glands of shrews orally administered with this heterosexual hormone.

    • A study on olfactory communication signals in sambar deer,Cervus unicolor

      Eugene Mary M Balakrishnan

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      The olfactory communication signals in eleven individuals of sambar deer were studied. They marked the objects in the enclosure with the secretions of diverse specialized integumentary glands. The tendency to sniff the marked sites was more consistent among females than in males. Both sexes of this species of deer depend considerably on olfactory cues during various social interactions.

    • Observations on the fine structure of the sebaceous flank gland of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan K M Alexander J C George

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      The fine structure of the sebaceous gland acini which form the bulk of the flank gland in the Indian musk shrew was studied. The secretion of the gland appeared to be mainly lipoid in nature, seen as numerous intracellular lipid droplets showing varying degrees of osmophilia from light to intense dark. The mitochondria contained one to several electron dense inclusions which were discharged from disrupted mitochondria and were seen floating in the cytoplasm and also in the ducts of the gland complex. It is suggested that these inclusions which presumably contain high concentrations of waxes synthesized within the mitochondria, form the major components of the holocrine secretion discharged from the flank gland of the shrew.

    • Further observations on the ultrastructure of the flank gland of the musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan V E Sokolov O A Basurmanova

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      The ultrastructure of the flank gland tissue of both sexes of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens was investigated. The undifferentiated and differentiated sebaceous secretory cells in the glands of both sexes possess 1–8 mitochondrial dense osmophilic inclusions. A few inclusions of medium electron density, and clear vacuoles were also seen in the mitochondria. The muscle fibres in the glandular complex were devoid of these characteristic mitochondrial inclusions. Secretory activity of the well differentiated sebaceous cells was characterised by the presence of a number of large secretory granules. Mitochondria and polyribosomes were found in close association with the secretory granules. The flank gland tubules of the shrew were highly vascularised.

    • Light and electron microscopic observations on lipid droplets of the sebaceous flank gland of the shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens (Blyth)

      M Balakrishnan

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      Light and electron microscopic investigations have been made on the lipid droplets of the sebaceous flank gland alveoli of the Indian musk shrew,Suncus murinus viridescens. The undifferentiated sebaceous cells can be distinguished from the differentiating and differentiated cells by the absence of lipid droplets in the former. Adjacent droplets in the differentiating cells fuse to form larger droplets. Lipid droplets are also synthesized in the differentiating cells. Large accumulation of lipid droplets are seen in well differentiated cells. The cells of the inner layer of the sebaceous alveoli disintegrate and the holocrine products are liberated into the lumen. The probable role of mitochondria and polyribosomes in the synthesis and development of lipid droplets in the sebaceous cells of the flank gland is discussed.

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