This report documents the application of high field magnetic resonance imaging to viewing the central nervous system of garter snakes (12–43 g) with emphasis on the vomeronasal and olfactory systems. Slices in all three planes were taken in lightly sedated snakes showing many major neural structures with resolution down to less than 60 µm. The images were obtained as 8 or 16 serial slices with slice spacings of 0.25 mm and 0.25 mm thick and were processed to a 256 × 256 matrix with a field of view (FOV) of 14 or 25 mm. The vomeronasal organs, main and accessory olfactory bulbs, telencephalon, cortex, tectum, medulla, cerebellum, spinal cord, and other major features of the brain are clearly defined in the images. The value of noninvasive neural imaging in comparative and experimental studies of squamate reptiles will become increasingly recognized as the technology is further developed but can be effectively employed at present.
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Vol. 2000 • No. 1