By Mervyn Griffiths and G. A. Kerkut (Auth.)
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16. Rate of passage of termites through echidnas and through Isoodon macrourus. O O, Male echidna, weight 2500 g. Fed 100 g Coptotermes lacteus at zero time and then 100 g Nasutitermes exitiosus 24 hr later. • • , Same animal a week later. Fed 200 g Coptotermes at zero time and then 200 g Nasutitermes 24 hr later. X X, Male Isoodon, weight 625 g. Fed 120 g Coptotermes at zero hr followed by 120 g Nasutitermes 24 hr later. ) (Reproduced from Comp. Biochem. ) The effects of the absolute lack of bile and of a deficiency of digestive enzymes on the physical well-being of this echidna were less than might be expected.
The stomach lining consisting of the usual fundic, cardiac, and pyloric glandular tissues. A stomach lining of cornified stratified epithelium is therefore not mandatory in insectivorous mammals ingesting dirt along with their insects, but it probably contributes to a more effective comminution of the hard insects—the grinding action of the dirt no doubt assisting greatly to that end. The non-glandular epithelium of the stomach continues without interruption by a pylorus into a relatively narrow tube which corresponds in position to the duodenum in eutherian mammals.
X9*8. it with the ability to dart right and left, up and down, in pursuit of rapidly moving insects. The tongue is covered by the usual stratified squamous epithelium which is thickest on the dorsal surface. Beneath the stratum germinativum of this epithelium is a layer of loosely arranged connective tissue; in between the two sterno-glossi, blood vessels and nerves pass from one end of the tongue to the other. At the hind end of the tongue in the mid-line just posterior to the spiny protuberance, two slits, forming a V, are found.