Heterochronic events in the ontogeny of Columba livia, Coturnix coturnix and Gallus gallus domesticus
Keywords:altricial, birds, embryonic developmen, postnatal growth patterns, precocial
a series of events take place in a precise spatial and temporal context during the development of any organism. Typically, certain ontogenetic processes are consistent with the proper completion of previous events. Objective: to identify possible heterochronic events that may relate to altricial and precocious development patterns. Methods: we analyzed the ontogeny of three species of birds with two different development models: Columba livia (semialtricial 2), Coturnix coturnix, and Gallus gallus domesticus (precocial 2). The starts and endings of thirteen morphological events were compared, from hour 16 of incubation to the time of hatching. Results: while no differences in the sequence of developmental events were found, the events of the maturation stage in the altricial kind started earlier compared to the precocial species. Ontogenetic acceleration events in C. livia and C. coturnix explain how these species reach a level of morphological development similar to that of G. gallus domesticus, but with shorter incubation period. Conclusion: the results provide information not considered in the literature of the specialty about heterochronic events in early developmental stages of poultry.
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