Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
The gross anatomy and imprints of the hard palate of 100 slaughtered cattle were described. The hard palate was significantly longer in male than in female animals (P<0.05). The mucosa of the hard palate was modified into an incisive papilla and two columns of variable number of transversely oriented palatine ridges. The palatine ridges in 67 (67%) specimens met at the midline in an end-to-end mannerand in alternate fashion in 28 (28%) specimens. There were more palatine ridges on the right column in male than in female animals (P<0.05). Incomplete palatine raphe was observed in 11 (11 %) specimens because of fusion of some palatine ridges. The rostral region of the hard palate was wider in the male than in the female (P<0.05). Mucosal pigmentation was variable. Various degrees of pigmentation were observed in 85 (85%) specimens. Complete pigmentation was observed in 10 (10%) specimens, and a non-pigmented mucosa in 5 (5%) specimens. Majority of the incisive papillae were diamond-shaped. Accessory ridges were present in 87 (87%) specimens. Imprints can be obtained from the hard palate of cattle and these showed clear images of the dental pads, incisive papilla, palatine ridges and the median palatine raphe. No two imprints were completely identical. It is suggested that palatine printing be tried in live cattle as a possible Adjunct in the identification of valuable animals.