Anatomy of the Head and Paranasal Sinuses in White Rhino

Dr Johan Marais is currently busy with research on the maxillofacial anatomy of the head of the White rhino. No specific anatomical studies have been published on the anatomy of the skull or head of the White rhinoceros. The sinuses, which are located directly beneath the frontal bone, are frequently, if not always, penetrated during a poaching incident.

Systematic examination of the maxillofacial anatomy is essential to ensure a thorough understanding of the anatomy of this complex area. Surgical exploration of this area, especially the complex sinuses and horn area, is currently done blindly, as the anatomy of this area has not yet been described. Knowledge of the anatomy of this particular area will also minimise the risk of post-operative complications in cases where surgery is performed. The anatomical detail that will be provided by this research is therefore crucial in providing a “roadmap” for surgery.

Mastery of the anatomy of this region will be invaluable to surgeons with a special interest in wildlife surgery, especially in the light of the current state of rhino poaching worldwide.