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Hornbill Special Tissue Request

Hornbill (Coraciiformes)
Special Tissue Request:

INTACT head, casque


The head should be separated from the cervical vertebra and is needed without removal of skin, feathers, or casque.  Gross necropsy evaluation and tissue collection may include eye, "pluck” (tongue, esophagus, trachea), and brain (if removed from a caudal access and the skull piece replaced.  However, if the skull may be left intact and a diagnosis still reached, it is preferred for this specific project.  The specimen should be frozen and shipped frozen.



Adult (fully mature) specimens of both genders from the following hornbill species are requested.   It is preferred that the skull and casque are unaffected by disease or not severely traumatized. 

Subfamily Bucorvinae

Northern/Abyssinian Ground Hornbill             Bucorvus abyssinicus

Southern/African Ground Hornbill                          Bucorvus leadbeateri

Subfamily Bucerotidae

Von der Decken’s/Jackson’s Hornbill                   Tockus deckeni

Oriental Pied Hornbill                                      Anthracoceros albirostris

Great/Great Indian/Giant Hornbill                          Buceros bicornis

Rhinoceros Hornbill                                      Buceros rhinoceros

Rufous Hornbill                                                 Buceros hydrocorax                   

Wrinkled Hornbill                                      Aceros corrugatus

Papupan/Blyth’s Hornbill                                      (Aceros) Rhyticeros plicatus

Wreathed Hornbill                                      (Aceros) Rhyticeros undulatus

Trumpeter Hornbill                                      Bycanistes bucinator

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill                                      Bycanistes brevis                       (only male needed)



The external appearance of the hornbill casque (54 extant sp.) has been imaged and used as species identification.  However, aside from the Greater Helmeted Hornbill (Buceros vigil ), its internal anatomy remains vaguely described.   This project will utilize radiography, computed tomography, contrast imaging, and anatomic preparation to advance the clinical understanding of casque anatomy.  The interconnections of the casque space with the sinuses (nasal and cranial), the nares themselves, and the oropharynx should be revealed by this systematic approach.  The information gathered will improve veterinary care as well as may elucidate functional roles for the casque or comparable anatomy between species.



A pre-proposal is under evaluation with the Morris Animal Foundation for this project.  The Tissue Request has been made at this time to maximize collection of any specimen while awaiting funding notice.


Please contact the Veterinary Advisor when:

a)       a specimen from the listing is available and collected;

b)      a species not on the listing is available;

c)       your institution does not have long-term freezer storage but a specimen is available;

d)      your institution has previously frozen specimens that could be appropriate for this project.


A full copy of the pre-proposal will also be made on request to the advisor.  If your institution has a BioMaterials or Tissue Request form, it would be helpful to alert the advisor and assist in preparing these documents.


Veterinary Advisor:

Kathryn C. Gamble DVM, MS, DACZM
Dallas Zoo and Aquarium at Fair Park
650      S. RL Thornton Fwy.
Dallas, TX 75203
Ph: 214.670.7474
Fx: 214.670.7409


581705 White Oak Road
Yulee, FL 32097 USA

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