A study of the comparative anatomy of the brain of domestic ruminants using magnetic resonance imaging

Vet J. 2012 Jan;191(1):85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.12.026. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


Although magnetic resonance imaging has been used to examine the brain of domestic ruminants, detailed information relating the precise anatomical features in these species is lacking. In this study the brain structures of calves (Bos taurus domesticus), sheep (Ovis aries), goats (Capra hircus) and a mesaticephalic dog (Canis lupis familiaris) were examined using T2-weighed Turbo Spin Echo sequences; three-dimensional models based on high-resolution gradient echo scans were used to identify brain sulci and gyri in two-dimensional images. The ruminant brains examined were similar in structure and organisation to those of other mammals but particular features included the deep depression of the insula and the pronounced gyri of the cortices, the dominant position of the visual (optic nerve, optic chiasm and rostral colliculus) and olfactory (olfactory bulb, olfactory tracts and piriform lobe) systems, and the relatively large size of the diencephalon.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Cattle / anatomy & histology
  • Dogs / anatomy & histology*
  • Goats / anatomy & histology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / veterinary
  • Ruminants / anatomy & histology*
  • Sheep / anatomy & histology