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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / On the homology of the incisor teeth in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

P. Simoens, H. Lauwers, W. Verraes, and A. Huysseune (1995)

On the homology of the incisor teeth in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)


The homology of the rabbit incisors has remained controversial despite abundant phylogenetic, developmental and morphological research. In this study, development and morphology of the incisors were investigated by means of serial histological sections and by stereomicroscopy in 10 fetal, 25 juvenile and 3 adult New Zealand White rabbits. A vestigial and a major incisor develop in both the upper and lower jaw, while a diphyodont minor incisor is located caudal to the major incisor in the upper jaw. Additionally, a unique case of incisor polydonty in an adult wild rabbit was investigated. The left incisive bone of this case bore a large supernumerary medial incisor which had all characteristics of a typical atavistic expression of the vestigial primordium of the first incisor. From this case the concept was deduced that the major incisor in the rabbit is monophyodont and corresponds to the second incisor, while the minor incisor in the upper jaw represents the diphyodont third incisor.

rabbit; incisor teeth; polydonty; dentition; homology
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology