The Caecum of the Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus: Light, Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopic Observations on its Epithelium and Flora
R. A. McKenzie
Department of Anatomy, University of Queensland; present address: Animal Research Institute, Yeerongpilly, Qld 4105.
The pseudostratified columnar epithelium of the koala caecum is surmounted on its luminal border by a tall palisade fringe of bacteria of different types including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacilli, cocci and actinomycete-like organisms. Ultrastructure of the epithelium indicates that it absorbs water and nutrients from the caecal lumen, and secretes mucus to lubricate the passage of ingesta.