Structure of the Olfactory Mucosa in the Rufous Sengi Overview


Dr. Boniface M. Kavoi


Sengis (order Macroscelidea) belong to the superorder Afrotheria, a group of placental mammals whose
ancestral lineage can be traced to ~11 MYA and which share similar evolutionary origin with elephants,
hyraxes, dugongs, sea cows, aardvarks, golden moles and tenrecs. Sengis create and maintain a
complex olfaction-dependent trail system that enables them to escape predators and to exhibit social
monogamy. In the literature, it is evident that earlier authors paid little attention in understanding how
evolutionary dynamics affect olfactory system architecture and how this influences neural mechanisms
and behavior in Afrotheria. In this study therefore, the gross morphometric features of the olfactory
brain were examined in order to understand how dietary, ecological and evolutionary factors shape the
anatomical design of the nose-to-brain olfactory pathway in this species.