Ultrastructural study of limb bud development in green turtles Chelonia mydas

Nawal Al-Mukhaini, Taher Ba-Omar*, Ibrahim Mahmoud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morphological changes during the embryonic development of limbs of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, were studied during the entire period of incubation, using transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM). Limb buds were first observed at Stage 2. At that stage, the tip was covered with an apical ectodermal ridge (AER) which began to regress at Stage 6. Associated with AER was the presence of the mesenchymal cells which, consequently, differentiated into muscles, cartilage and bones. The gross features of the skeletal development appeared as a condensation of the cartilaginous structures in the proximal distal region of the limbs. The primordial digits were gradually enclosed by hard keratinized webbed skin. The increase in rate of ossification and skin pigmentation was correlated with the growth of the limbs. The development of the limbs was closely related to the transitional appearance of mucus secretion from the epidermis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Herpetological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Chelonia mydas
  • Green turtle
  • Limb bud development
  • Turtle embryology
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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