Cribriform plate of ethmoid, olfactory bulb and olfactory acuity in forty species of bats


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Publication Date

January 1974


Relationships between the cribriform plate of the ethmoid, the olfactory bulb, and olfactory acuity were explored using material from 13 of the 17 bat families. All megachiropteran cribriform plates were entirely perforated. In contrast, microchiropteran plates showed distinct perforated portions dorsally and nonperforated portions ventrally. The plates of frugivorous species had more foramina than those of insectivorous ones. Bats with mixed dietary habits were intermediate. Our data suggest that the Chilonycterinae were originally frugivorous, and have only secondarily reverted to an insectivorous diet. Trend analyses show that wherever dietary preference appears to favor a more acute sense of smell, bulb diameter tends to be larger. In general, frugivorous bats tend to have bulbs exceeding 2 mm in diameter; insectivorous bats tend to have bulb diameters of 2 mm or less. The number of foramina in the plates and total cribriform plate area tends to increase as a function of bulb area, but the plate area the foramina occupied increases as a function of bulb volume. The ratio of the size of the bulb to the size of the cerebral hemisphere does not predict olfactory acuity in bats.


Cribriform Plate Of The Ethmoid, Olfactory Bulb, Olfactory Acuity, Bats




Journal of Morphology, Vol. 142, no. 1 (1974-01).