Corpuscles of Herbst

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Corpuscles of Herbst
Anatomical terminology

The corpuscles of Herbst or Herbst corpuscles are nerve-endings similar to the Pacinian corpuscle, found in the mucous membrane of the tongue, in pits on the beak and in other parts of the bodies of birds. They differ from Pacinian corpuscles in being smaller and more elongated, in having thinner and more closely placed capsules, and in that the axis-cylinder in the central clear space is encircled by a continuous row of nuclei.[1]

In many wading birds, a large number of Herbst corpuscles are found embedded in pits on the mandible that are believed to enable birds to sense prey under wet sand or soil.[2]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1061 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Edward Klein (1785). Elements of histology. Lea. p. 124. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Piersma, Theunis; van Aelst, Renee; Kurk, Karin; Berkhoudt, Herman; Maas, Leo R. M. (1998). "A New Pressure Sensory Mechanism for Prey Detection in Birds: The Use of Principles of Seabed Dynamics?". Proceedings: Biological Sciences. 265 (1404): 1377–1383. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0445. PMC 1689215Freely accessible. 

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