Anatomical study of the lumbosacral plexus of the Tamandua tetradactyla

J.R. Cardoso P.R. Souza V.S. Cruz E.J. Benetti M.S. Brito e Silva P.C. Moreira A.A.L. Cardoso A.K. Martins T. Abreu K. Simões F.R. Guimarães About the authors

The lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) is a xenarthra of the Myrmecophagidae family found from Venezuela to southern Brazil. Studies have shown that this is one of the most numerous wildlife species victims of car collisions on roads, and often the appropriate clinical care to injured animals is hindered by the lack of information about them. In order to contribute to the knowledge of this species, this study aimed to describe its lumbosacral plexus. For this purpose, four cadavers of adult specimens of both sexes of T. tetradactyla were used. The lumbosacral plexus of the T. tetradactyla is formed by the ventral rami of spinal nerves T18, L1, L2, L3, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5. The lumbosacral plexus nerves with their most common formations in this species were as follows: genitofemoral (T18), lateral femoral cutaneous (T18-L1), femoral (T18, L1-L3), obturator (T18, L1-L3), cranial gluteal (L3-S1), ischiatic (L3-S3), pudendus (S3-S4 or S4-S5), caudal retal (S4 or S5), and caudal femoral cutaneous (S4-S5). The lumbar and sacral plexus of this species is joined, L3 being the link between them. Due to the small number of lumbar vertebrae, the arrangement of the lumbosacral plexus nerves of the T. tetradactyla showed peculiar characteristics that differ it from that of other previously studied species, such as the absence of iliohypogastric and ilioinguinal nerves and contribution of thoracic nerves in the formation of all the nerves of the lumbar plexus, presence of sacral contribution in the formation of the obturator nerve, and the lack of lumbar contribution for sciatic nerve formation and a most caudal extent of the sacral plexus.

lesser anteater; nervous system; pelvic limb innervation, Xenarthra

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil