Morphology of the Cloacal Structure of the Chinese Soft-Shell Turtle in Pelodiscus sinensis Examined by Endoscopy

Filippo Spadola, Manuel Morici


The aim of this work is to describe the cloacal anatomy in Pelodiscus sinensis, using the cloacal endoscopic technique. The study has been performed on 12 specimens of different age and size, either from a private farming, or from a private owners. After a lightly sedation, a cloacal endoscopic study was performed to evaluate the cloacal structure, and to determinate the sex and furthermore in order to prevent and study the obstructive diseases of the organ. The cloacoscopy was performed just in the subject with a good general health status, previously evaluated by a complete clinical examination. In this work cloacoscopy is proposed as a tool for different purposes, as compare the morphology, obtain more knowledge on cloacal physiology, for sex determination, but mostly for diagnostic aid. Further studies are necessary to compare cloacal structures and annexed organs of Trionychidae with other chelonians.


Pelodiscus sinensis; soft-shell turtles; cloaca; endoscopy; cloacoscopy; fresh water turtles (terrapin)

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