THE SKULL PATHOLOGIES IN HEDGEHOGS (ERINACEIDAE, LIPOTYPHLA) IN HABITING THE TERRITORIES OF BELARUS AND AZERBAIJAN

А. A. Savarin1, N. A. Gasanov2

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1Gomel State University named after F. Scorina, str. Soviet, 104, Gomel, 246019, Belarus

2Institute of Zoology ANAS, str. A. Abbasov, black 504, passage 1128, Baku, AZ1073, Azerbaijan

Investigations have been carried out to assess the peculiarities of pathomorphological processes in the skulls of hedgehogs (Erinaceidae, Lipotyphla) inhabiting the territory of two geographically separated regions. Collection funds from the Zoological Museum of the Belarusian State University (Minsk), the Institute of Zoology of Azerbaijan NAS and Medical University in Baku have been analyzed. Totally 274 adult hedgehog skulls (Erinaceus concolor s.l., Hemiechinus auritus) were analyzed. 274 skulls of adult hedgehogs (Erinaceus concolor s.l., Hemiechinus auritus) were examined, examined, including 231 samples from Belarus and 43 from Azerbaijan. Individual’s age was determined by the skull sizes, the degreel of teeth grinding and skull ossification.

The occurrence frequency of analyzed pathology forms of skulls’ cranial and facial sections of Belorussian territory’s hedgehogs is higher, especially frontal bones thinning (in 10 times) As this form of Belorussian hedgehogs pathology . Since this pathology type in hedgehogs from Belarus is massive (for more than 50 % of adult individuals), it confirms the deep influence of pathogenic factors on the hedgehog populations. One of the most important factors affecting the reinforcement of pathophysiological processes is declining conditions of animals overwintering in this region (long period of sleep in the absence of snow, thaw and rains in winter period). Climate warming and intencification of human impact lead in increase in the number of ixodic ticks and their infection with viruses and borrelia.

We haven’t revealed any extreme pathomorphological changes in the skulls of the hedgehogs from Azerbaijan incompatible with life (an extensive destruction of the maxillary, deformation of cranial bones et al.). During the future investigation there is a need for a comparative analysis on morphology of skull cap internal surface of hedgehogs from both regions.

Keywords: HEDGEHOGS, BELARUS, AZERBAIJAN, SKULL, PATHOLOGIES, THINNING OF THE BONES, OSTEOLISIS, OVERWINTERING CONDITIONS, MORTALITY, CLIMATE CHANGE

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