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Macdonald, A. A., & Johnstone, M. (1995). Comparative anatomy of the cardiac foramen ovale in cats (Felidae), dogs (Canidae), bears (Ursidae) and hyaenas (Hyaenidae). J Anat, 186 ( Pt 2), 235–243.
Abstract: The structure of the foramen ovale from 16 species representing 4 carnivore families, the Felidae, Canidae, Ursidae and Hyaenidae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. The Felidae were represented by 9 domestic cat fetuses (Felis catus), 2 snow leopard neonates (Uncia uncia), an ocelot neonate (Leopardus pardalis), 2 lion neonates (Panthera leo), a panther neonate (Panthera pardus) and 3 tigers (Neofelis tigris), comprising 2 fetuses and a neonate. The Canidae were represented by a golden jackal neonate (Canis aureus), a newborn wolf (Canis lupus), 8 domestic dog fetuses (Canis familiaris), 3 red fox neonates (Vulpes vulpes) and a dhole neonate (Cuon alpinus). The Ursidae were represented by a brown bear neonate (Ursus arctos), a day-old grizzly bear cub (Ursus arctos horribilis), a polar bear neonate (Ursus maritimus), and 2 additional bear fetuses (species unknown). The Hyaenidae were represented by a striped hyaena neonate (Hyaena hyaena). In each species, the foramen ovale, when viewed from the terminal part of the caudal vena cava, had the appearance of a short tunnel. A thin fold of tissue, the developed remains of the embryonic septum primum, extended from the distal end of the caudal vena cava for a variable distance into the lumen of the left atrium and contributed towards the 'tunnel' appearance in all specimens. It constituted a large proportion of the tube, and its distal end was straight-edged. There was fibrous material underlying the endothelium of the flap, the apparent morphology of which suggested that it comprised cardiac muscle.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)