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Avian Reproductive System Sonia M. Hernandez. Know the names of the major reproductive organs and their function Be able to trace the path of an egg through.

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Presentation on theme: "Avian Reproductive System Sonia M. Hernandez. Know the names of the major reproductive organs and their function Be able to trace the path of an egg through."— Presentation transcript:

1 Avian Reproductive System Sonia M. Hernandez

2 Know the names of the major reproductive organs and their function Be able to trace the path of an egg through the reproductive tract and how it develops Understand bird sex What are the components of bird eggs? What function do they serve? Why are eggs the color they are? What are the different types of nests and who builds them? Objectives

3 Paired testes in males Ovary Testes & follicles increase dramatically in size as the breeding season approaches. As day length increases Stimulation of hormone secretion Gonads

4 Paired abdominal testes lying cranioventral to the first kidney lobe. The vas deferens emerges medially and passes caudally to the cloaca where it has a common opening with the ureter in the Urodeum. As in mammals, sperm formation is temperature sensitive, and maturation is assisted by nocturnal drops in temperature Have relatively low extragonadal sperm reserves and sperm are ejaculated soon after production in the testes Testes

5 Most only LEFT ovary and oviduct. In some birds, such as hawks, the right ovary and oviduct also develop. A mature ovary looks like a cluster of grapes and may contain up to 4,000 small ova which can develop into mature ova With fertilization, the ovum (egg) becomes a developing embryo The embryo passes through the oviduct; typically takes about 24 hours (for passerines & most other birds) The demand for calcium to make the egg shell is very high, and so the circulating levels of blood calcium in birds are greatly elevated compared to mammals (2X) Ovary

6 Ovulation results in the release of an egg from a mature follicle on the surface of the ovary. The egg is picked up by the infundibulum and ciliary currents carry it into the magnum region. In three hours the egg receives a coating of albumen. The egg then passes into the isthmus, where the shell membranes are deposited. This takes about one hour. The egg them moves to the uterus, or shell gland, where the calcareous shell is added and, in some birds, pigment is added in characteristic patterns. The egg then passes into the vagina and cloaca for laying. The eggs journey

7 For most birds, copulation involves a 'cloacal kiss', with the male on the female's back & twisting his tail under the female's Copulation

8 males in a few species, including most waterfowl & ostriches, have an intromittent organ Copulation

9 Near the junction of the vagina and shell gland of female birds are deep glands lined with simple columnar epithelium. These are the sperm storage tubules, -can store sperm for long periods of time (10 days- weeks). After an egg is laid, some of these sperm may move out of the tubules into the lumen of the tract, then migrate farther up to fertilize another egg. Sperm storage

10 On ovulation, the sperm swarm over the surface of the ovum; their target is the germinal disc, which contains the female pronucleus. Polyspermy is typical in birds. Several sperm enter the germinal disc region However, only a single spermatozoon fuses with the female pronucleus and the remaining sperm are shifted to the periphery of the germinal disc and play no further part in development. The fate of sperm

11 Birds' eggs, like the birds themselves, vary enormously in size. The largest egg from a living bird belongs to the ostrich. It is over 2000 times larger than the smallest egg produced by a hummingbird Female kiwis produce extremely large eggs for their size (with substantial amounts of yolk) The egg

12 Eggs consists of 4 primary components: yolk energy-rich supply of food % lipids & % proteins (with the rest being water) the yolk is suspended in the center of the egg by twisted strands of protein fibers called chalazae albumen 90% water & 10% protein the embryo's water supply, but also serves as a 'shock-absorber' to help protect the embryo buffers embryo from sudden changes in temperature shell membranes inner and outer shell membranes. They protect the egg from bacterial invasion and help prevent rapid evaporation of moisture from the egg. shell protects the embryo contains thousands of pores that permit gas exchange generally white in cavity-nesters & colored and patterned in open nesters Egg components

13 amnion surrounds only the embryo in which the embryo floats; fluid keeps the embryo from drying out and protects it chorion - surrounds all embryonic structures & serves as a protective membrane allantois (or allantoic sac) grows larger as embryo grows, fuses with the chorion & is called the chorio-allantoic membrane works together with chorion to permit respiration (exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide) and excretion important in storage of nitrogenous wastes (uric acid) The egg

14 From top to bottom, altricial Brown Creeper, a semiprecocial Least Tern, a precocial Ruddy Duck, a superprecocial Mallee Fowl and a Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis). Kiwis are outliers., bc young typically remain in the nest for several days and so are semiprecocial Egg content linked to offspring lifestyle amount of energy available to the developing embryo

15 Originally, birds' eggs were probably all white, as reptile eggs are. Eggs that are laid on the ground often exhibit cryptic coloration. Sometimes eggs that are laid in open nests are white at first. They then become stained by the mud and rotting vegetation in the nest. Grebes lay white eggs that become stained and cryptically colored over time Some eggs are patterened bc it helps females find their eggs in colonies (Common murre) Egg color

16 White-cavity nesters Blue-low light Pigment-female quality or Ca2+ deficiency Predation? Brood parasitism? Many colors, many reasons Why blue eggs in Eastern bluebirds? Female quality? Biliverdin….

17 Female birds turns part of the cloaca and the last segment of the oviduct inside out ("like a glove"). The vent is then everted and the egg emerges far outside at the end of the bulge. As a result, the egg does not contact the walls of the cloaca and get contaminated by feces. In addition, the intestine and inner part of the cloaca are kept shut by the emerging egg, and their contents cannot leave when the hen strains to deliver the egg. Therefore, eggs are always clean when laid (van der Molen 2002). Egg laying

18 In mammals the female is XX and the male is XY, this results in the male sperm determining the sex of the offspring. In birds it is the opposite. The female is WZ and the male is ZZ. All avian sperm is Z, and the female releases either a Z egg or W egg. Therefore it is the female bird that determines what sex her offspring will be. Sex determination

19 Although common in reptiles, incubation temperature has not been considered to be a factor in determining sex ratios in birds. Goth and Booth (2005) found that incubation temperature does affect sex ratios in megapodes, which are exceptional among birds because they use environmental heat sources for incubation. In the Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), a mound-building megapode, more males hatch at low incubation temperatures and more females hatch at high temperatures, whereas the proportion is 1:1 at the average temperature found in natural mounds. Chicks from lower temperatures weigh less, which probably affects offspring survival, but are not smaller. Goth and Booth (2005) suggest a sex -biased temperature-sensitive embryo mortality because mortality was greater at the lower and higher temperatures, and minimal at the middle temperature where the sex ratio was 1:1.

20 Nest complexity Bird nests vary from a simple accumulation of materials on the ground to elaborate refuges in or on secluded & elevated substrates. Dial (2003) observed that nest construction and placement are correlated with other features such as flight ability

21 Scrape nests Shorebirds, nighthawks, gulls, penguins, B vultures Burrow nests Kingfishers, bank swallows, motmot Nest Types

22 Cavity nests Woodpeckers, hornbills, waterfowl, owls Platform nests Grebes, loons Nest Types

23 Cupped nests Hummingbirds, many passerines Suspended Pendulous adherent Grebes, loons Nest Types

24 Cupped nests Suspended Pendulous Adherent Nest Types

25 Fragrances Blue tits add lavender, yarrow, curry, mint etc Antiparasitic/antimicrobial, insecticidal material Scat Ward off predation? Preen waxes Now add the finishing touches!

26 Architectural feats! Bald eagles Clay cups Ovenbirds m/watch?v=PSJsPxAfap A Special nests!

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