A morphometric analysis of the lung of a species of bat.
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The lungs of five adult Epauleted Fruit-bats (Epomophorus wahlbergi) of mean body weight 96 g were analysed morphometrically. The lung volume per unit body weight was 0.043 cm3/g, the surface area of the tissue barrier (i.e., the effective alveolar surface area) component of the blood-gas pathway per unit body weight was 138 cm2/g, and the surface density of the tissue barrier (surface area of the tissue barrier per unit volume of parenchyma) was 121 mm2/mm3. The harmonic mean thickness of the tissue barrier was between 0.267 and 0.349 micron. The morphometric pulmonary diffusing capacity per unit body weight (DLO2/W) was 0.02 ml O2 per min per mm Hg per g. These values are compared with those of shrews and birds. It is suggested that in bats enlargement of the lungs, small subdivisions of the air spaces, and a thin blood-gas barrier, could be linked with previously reported circulatory adaptations to account for the high oxygen consumption during flight
CitationRespir Physiol. 1982 Oct;50(1):1-11.
Department of Veterinary Anatomy, University of Nairobi