The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 03. The Complex Vomeronasal Structure of Dipsochelys Giant Tortoises and its Identification as a True Jacobson's Organ


Open Access

pp. 15-20
Authors: Gerlach, J.

Abstract: The nasal structure of the western Indian Ocean Dipsochelys giant tortoises is described. These tortoises are known to possess structures facilitating 'nasal drinking'. Additional unique nasal features include the processus dorsalis vomerinus supporting an enlarged medial nasal gland and a 'tuberculum palatinum'. The medial nasal gland can be considered homologous to the vomeronasal organ (Jacobson's organ) and is connected directly to the tuberculum palatinum in the buccal cavity through the foramina praepalatina. An homologous vomeronasal organ with a direct buccal connection is also identified in existing literature accounts of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea and may have been overlooked in other Chelonia.


Download Access:

The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact