1) General Zoological Data
This species, also called the Edmi gazelle, is restricted to the Atlas mountains of Northwestern Africa (Nowak, 1999). Edmi is its local Arabic designation (Gotch, 1979). It is a severely endangered species, with the largest remaining number of animals said to exist in Algeria. The San Diego Zoo has bred numerous Cuvier's gazelles, but they are only rarely seen in other zoological gardens. Moreover, there is considerable debate about its taxonomic status. This has been discussed in considerable detail by Vassart et al. (1995). These authors further delineated the chromosomal structure of gazelles with banding procedures and attempted thus a new alignment of gazelle species. Longevity of this species was given by Jones (1993) as being 14 years and 10 months. Adult females weigh between 23 and 27 kg.
|Cuvier's gazelle male at San Diego Zoo.|
|Female and young at San Diego Zoo.|
General Gestational Data
The length of gestation is between 160 and 180 days (Olmedo et al., 1985; Furley, 1985). Singletons, and frequently twins (40%) are born of Cuvier's gazelles (Olmedo et al., 1985). The twins are of same sex in 69% and were thus (statistically) considered to be dizygotic. A singleton female neonatal death we observed weighed 2,000 g and had a 73 g placenta with 30 cotyledons and a 21 cm long umbilical cord.
|Pregnant uterus of Cuvier's gazelle. The distended allantoic sac is visible at the lower left, below the amnionic sac.|
|Opened uterus with cotyledons in right horn.|
|Fetus removed with four rows of cotyledons visible.|
General Characterization of the Placenta
Measurements of Cuvier gazelle placentas
|Immature placenta detached from the uterus with four rows of cotyledons.|
|Surface portion of a cotyledon with the chorion (bluish) and fetal vessels above. Branching villous ramifications are obvious.|
|Floor of the cotyledons. The large number of "giant" trophoblastic cells near the tips of the villi are adjacent the endometrial floor. Pink are the endometrial trabeculae extending between villi.|
|Term, delivered placenta of Cuvier's gazelle with 70 cotyledons.|
Details of fetal/maternal barrier
The villi are covered by a single layer of cuboidal trophoblast which contains occasional binucleate cells. Near the tips of the villi, numerous multinucleate "giant" trophoblastic cells are present. The endometrial surface is covered by a thin layer of epithelium. At the floor of the implanted cotyledon, the endometrium has only few glands, they appear at their edges and are most numerous between the caruncles. This placenta is very much like the placenta of G. rufifrons that was illustrated by Krölling (1931).
|Lateral aspect of cotyledonary implantation site. Modified endometrium contains a few glands, but it is mostly fibrous-appearing.|
The umbilical cord of both of these two specimens measured 9 cm in length and 1 cm in width. They had no spirals. The surface was studded with fine granular projections. The cord contained two arteries and two veins, in addition to the large allantoic duct. Small additional blood vessels surrounded the allantoic duct. The granular projections were composed of areas of squamous metaplasia.
|The center of the umbilical cord contains the allantoic duct that is shown here. It is lined by urothelium and its wall has numerous small blood vessels.|
|Surface of umbilical cord with focus of squamous metaplasia.|
This has not been studied.
|Amnion with pigmented squamous epithelial inclusion.|
|This is the edge of a cotyledon with a few endometrial glands (areola) and many large fetal blood vessels. This is much like the illustration (Fig.5) by Krölling.|
Trophoblast external to barrier
There is no extravillous trophoblast or infiltration of the endometrium by fetal cells.
Other remarks - What additional Information is needed?
Furley, C.W.: Reproductive parameters of African gazelles: Gestation, first fertile matings, first parturition and twinning. Afr. J. Ecol. 24:121-128, 1986.
Gomendio, M., Cassinello, J. and Roldan, E.R.: A comparative study of ejaculate traits in three endangered ungulates with different levels of inbreeding: fluctuating asymmetry as an indicator of reproductive and genetic stress. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 267:875-883, 2000.
Gotch, A.F.: Mammals - Their Latin Names Explained. Blandford Press, Poole, Dorset, 1979.
Jones, M.L.: Longevity of ungulates in captivity. Int. ZooYbk. 32:159-169, 1993.
Krölling, O.: Uber den Bau der Antilopenplazentome. Z. mikrosk. anat. Forschg. 27:216-232, 1931.
Kumamoto, A.T. and Bogart, M.H.: The chromosomes of Cuvier's gazelle. Chapter 10, pp. 100-108, in: One Medicine, Springer-Verlag, NY , 1984.
Nowak, R.M.: Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th ed. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1999.
Olmedo, J.E., Escos, J. and Gomedio, M.: Reproduction de Gazella cuvieri en captivité. Mammalia 49:501-507, 1985.
Ortiz, J., Ruiz de Ybanez, M.R., Garijo, M.M., Goyena, M., Espeso, G., Abaigar, T. and Cano, M.: Abomasal and small intestinal nematodes from captive gazelles in Spain. J. Helminthol. 75:363-365, 2001a.
Ortiz, J., Ruiz de Ybanez, M.R., Abaigar, T., Garijo, M.M., Espeso, G., and Cano, M.: Oral administration of mebendazole failed to reduce nematode egg shedding in captive African gazelles. Onderstepoort J. Vet. Res. 68:79-82, 2001b.
Roldan, E.R., Cassinello, J., Abaigar, T. and Gomendio, M.: Inbreeding, fluctuating asymmetry, and ejaculate quality in an endangered ungulate. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 265:243-248, 1998.
Stiglmair-Herb, M.T.: Microparasitosis (toxoplasmosis) in mountain gazelles (Gazella g. cuvieri). Berl. Munch. Tierärztl. Wochenschr. 100:273-277, 1987 (in German).
Vassart, M., Séguéla, A. and Hayes, H.: Chromosomal evolution in gazelles. J. Hered. 86:216-227, 1995.
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