Cheek pouch

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Golden hamster filling his cheek pouches with greenery
Chipmunk showing the cheek pouch
Etched out cheek pouches of a European hamster

Cheek pouches are pockets on both sides of the head of some mammals between the jaw and the cheek. They can be found on mammals including the platypus, some rodents, and most monkeys.[1][2] The cheek pouches of chipmunks can reach the size of their body when full.

Description and function[edit]

Cheek pouches are located in the thickness of the flange on both sides of the mouth of some mammals. Monkeys have open cheek pouches within the oral cavity, but they open out in some rodents of America. Hence the name "diplostomes" is associated with them, which means "two mouths." In some rodents, such as hamsters, the cheek pouches are remarkably developed; they form two bags ranging from the mouth to the front of the shoulders.[3] Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire described that some bats of the genus Nycteris have an amazing form of cheek pouches, as they have a narrow opening, through which the bat can introduce air, closing the nasal canal through a special mechanism and pushing air under the skin, so they expire in the tissue, which unites the very loose skin to the underlying muscles.[3]

Cheek pouches have several roles; they allow the rapid collection of food, but also serve as temporary storage and transport. In monkeys of the subfamily of Cercopithecinae, they allow for more predigested food.[4] Cheek pouches contribute to the protection of animals by allowing them to carry their food in the pouches to shelter, allowing them to transport their food to safer locations, as they are pressing these pouches to the back of the mouth with the back of the leg, or moving the jaw.[4][5] The females of some species of hamster are known to hide their young in their cheek pouches to carry them away when they fear danger.[6] Other species of hamsters are known to fill their pouches with air, allowing them to float better while they swim.[6][7]

The cheek pouches can become infected as a result of an injury caused by a sharp object inserted into them or a fight. An abscess can form, which can be confused with protuberance with stored food. If the abscess bursts and the pus contained therein is absorbed by the animal, it can be a victim of sepsis and die of the poisonous toxins.[8][9][10][11] The cheek pouches can also turn outwards.[8][12]

The cheek pouches of hamsters have been studied in laboratories to understand vascular membranes and healing better.[13] They are also useful for the study of the immune system, notably in the development of abscesses or tumours.[14][15][16]

Examples[edit]

Chipmunks[edit]

Chipmunks (Tamias) have large cheek pouches that allow them to transport food.[17] These pouches can reach the size of their body when they are full.[6][17][18]

Below is the introduction of the legume (pod) of peanut in the cheek pouch of a chipmunk:

Hamsters[edit]

One of the classic behavioral characteristics of hamsters (subfamily Cricetinae) is food hoarding. Hamsters carry food to their underground storage chambers using their spacious cheek pouches.[19] A hamster "can literally fill its face with food."[20] When full, the pouches can make the hamsters' heads double, or even triple in size.[19]

Platypus[edit]

The platypus feeds on annelid worms, insect larvae, freshwater shrimps, and yabbies (freshwater crayfish) that it digs out of the riverbed with its snout or catches while swimming. It uses its cheek-pouches to carry prey to the surface for eating.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ABAJOUE - Dictionnaire de l'académie française - Septième édition (1877)" (in French). Dicoperso.com. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Le Trésor de la Langue Française Informatisé" (in French). Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  3. ^ a b Duckett, W. (1853). "cheek pouch". English conversation and reading. Ed Michel Levi. p. 3. 
  4. ^ a b "Natural History Primate of Central Africa". ECOFAC. 1999. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Buzzard, Paul (October 2006). Cheek pouch use in relation to interspecific competition and predator risk for three guenon monkeys (Cercopithecus spp.), Primates. 47, IV. Springer publisher. pp. 336–341 (6). 
  6. ^ a b c Nowak, R. (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World II. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  7. ^ Poor, Allison. "ADW: Cricetinae: INFORMATION". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  8. ^ a b Klabunde RE, Calvello C (November 1995). "Inhibition of endotoxin-induced microvascular leakage by a platelet-activating factor antagonist and 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor". Shock 4 (5): 368–72. PMID 8595525. 
  9. ^ Mark A. Suckow; Karla A. Stevens; Ronald P. Wilson (15 January 2012). The Laboratory Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Hamster, and Other Rodents. Academic Press. pp. 816–. ISBN 978-0-12-380920-9. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Susan A. Brown; Karen L. Rosenthal (1 April 1997). Small Mammals. Manson Publishing. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-1-84076-565-6. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Mark A. Mitchell; Thomas N. Tully (2009). Manual of Exotic Pet Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 429–. ISBN 978-1-4160-0119-5. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "hamster Health: abscess in cheek pouches". membres. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Lutz BR, Fulton GP, Akers RP (March 1951). "White thromboembolism in the hamster cheek pouch after trauma, infection and neoplasia". Circulation 3 (3): 339–51. PMID 14812662. 
  14. ^ de Arruda MS, Montenegro MR (1995). "The hamster cheek pouch: an immunologically privileged site suitable to the study of granulomatous infections". Revista Do Instituto De Medicina Tropical De São Paulo 37 (4): 303–9. doi:10.1590/S0036-46651995000400004. PMID 8599058. 
  15. ^ Adams, Jeff (March 2000). Acid / Pepsin Promotion of Carcinogenesis in the Hamster Cheek Pouch. HEAD NECK SURG ARCH Otolaryngol 126. archotol.ama-assn. 
  16. ^ G. L. Van Hoosier; Charles W. McPherson (28 October 1987). Laboratory Hamsters. Elsevier. pp. 284–. ISBN 978-0-12-714165-7. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  17. ^ a b H. The Louarn, JP (2008). Quéré, rodents France, Fauna and biology. Quae Publishing. p. 119. 
  18. ^ Thorington, Jr., Richard W.; E. Ferrell, Katie (2 August 2006). Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide. JHU Press. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-0-8018-8403-0. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Fox, Sue. 2006. Hamsters. T.F.H. Publications Inc.
  20. ^ National Museum of Ireland, Mammals of the World; accessed 2012.11.09. The accompanying photograph shows how capacious the pouches are.
  21. ^ "Platypus" (PDF). Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania. 2008-02. Retrieved 2009-06-18.  Check date values in: |date= (help)