Anatomy, histology, and diagnostic imaging of the reproductive tract of male aardvark (orycteropus afer)

Kimberlee B. Wojick, Jennifer N. Langan, Karen A. Terio, Alison Righton, Randi Drees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reproductive tracts of three captive male aardvark (Orycteropus afer) were evaluated to characterize the gross and histological anatomy, with correlations to ultrasonographic and computed tomographic imaging. Observations were made from a reproductive tract examined at necropsy, with subsequent evaluation of tissues histologically. Two living specimens were evaluated via ultrasonography with a 10-MHz linear transducer. One living animal was also evaluated via computed tomography. Prominent external scent glands were present at the base of the prepuce. Testicles were present internally at the level of the inguinal canal and capable of sliding into a subcutaneous position. Accessory sex glands consisted of seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and bulbourethral glands, with histological characteristics similar to other species. Ultrasonography was an effective tool for evaluation of internal and external reproductive structures, while the usefulness of computed tomography was limited in the evaluation of pelvic organs due to artifact from nearby bony structures. While a larger study population is desirable, this report provides an important comparative anatomical reference and will help improve the clinical management and care of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-655
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Aardvark
  • Anatomy
  • Male reproductive tract
  • Orycteropus afer
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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