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Sample records for delphininae cetacea odontoceti

  1. Testing mitochondrial sequences and anonymous nuclear markers for phylogeny reconstruction in a rapidly radiating group: molecular systematics of the Delphininae (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Delphinidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kingston, Sarah E; Adams, Lara D; Rosel, Patricia E

    2009-01-01

    Background Many molecular phylogenetic analyses rely on DNA sequence data obtained from single or multiple loci, particularly mitochondrial DNA loci. However, phylogenies for taxa that have undergone recent, rapid radiation events often remain unresolved. Alternative methodologies for discerning evolutionary relationships under these conditions are desirable. The dolphin subfamily Delphininae is a group that has likely resulted from a recent and rapid radiation. Despite several efforts, the evolutionary relationships among the species in the subfamily remain unclear. Results Here, we compare a phylogeny estimated using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences to a multi-locus phylogeny inferred from 418 polymorphic genomic markers obtained from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. The two sets of phylogenies are largely incongruent, primarily because the mtDNA tree provides very poor resolving power; very few species' nodes in the tree are supported by bootstrap resampling. The AFLP phylogeny is considerably better resolved and more congruent with relationships inferred from morphological data. Both phylogenies support paraphyly for the genera Stenella and Tursiops. The AFLP data indicate a close relationship between the two spotted dolphin species and recent ancestry between Stenella clymene and S. longirostris. The placement of the Lagenodelphis hosei lineage is ambiguous: phenetic analysis of the AFLP data is consistent with morphological expectations but the phylogenetic analysis is not. Conclusion For closely related, recently diverged taxa, a multi-locus genome-wide survey is likely the most comprehensive approach currently available for phylogenetic inference. PMID:19811651

  2. The antiquity of riverine adaptations in Iniidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti) documented by a humerus from the late Miocene of the Ituzaingó Formation, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Gutstein, Carolina Simon; Cozzuol, Mario Alberto; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2014-06-01

    "River dolphins" are a paraphyletic group of toothed whales (Odontoceti) that represent independent secondary invasions of freshwater habitats. Different "river dolphin" lineages display suites of convergent morphological specializations that commonly reflect adaptations to riverine and freshwater environments, such as longirostry, reduced orbits, and wide, paddle-like flippers. One lineage, the Iniidae, is presently endemic to South America, and includes several extinct Neogene taxa along with their sole extant genus, Inia (the Amazon River dolphin). We report here a humerus recovered from the late Miocene deposits of the Ituzaingó Formation in the Paraná Basin of Argentina. The specimen exhibits diagnostic features of the family Iniidae, including a scapular-sternal joint of the humerus, which is a unique anatomical connection among mammals. This joint permits enhanced parasagittal adduction of the flipper as a control surface, relative to other odontocetes, providing Inia with a high degree of maneuverability in its structurally complex and heterogenous riverine habitat. This unique anatomical connection, here documented from the late Miocene (∼9 million years-6.5 million years old), not only provides the oldest diagnostic record for Iniidae, but it also indicates a similar habitat use for this lineage, a finding coincident with the current paleoenvironmental interpretation for the Ituzaingó Formation. PMID:24585575

  3. Prenatal development of the integument in Delphinidae (Cetacea: Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Meyer, W; Neurand, K; Klima, M

    1995-03-01

    The prenatal development of epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis was studied in embryos of different age of two delphinid species (Stenella attenuata, Delphinus delphis), using light and transmission electron microscopical methods. The delphinid embryo is covered by a multilayered tissue formed by four different epidermal generations (periderm, stratum intermedium-I, str. intermedium-II, str. spinosum) produced by the str. basale. The first layer appears at about 40-50 mm of body length, the second type (s.i.-I) about 60-160 mm, and the third type (s.i.-II) is present at 160-500 mm. The first spinosal cells are produced at 225-260 mm body length; thenceforth, the epidermis increases continuously in thickness. Epidermal ridge formation begins about 400-mm body length. The development of the dermis is characterized by the early production of thin connective tissue fibers (40-70-mm body length) and simultaneously the cutaneous muscle matures in structure. Vascular development intensifies between embryos of 150-225 mm, and collagen production increases markedly in fetuses of 225-260-mm length. These events are paralleled by an increase in dermal thickness. The first elastic fibers can be recognized in the skin from the abdomen at about 600-mm body length. The development of the hypodermis is marked by very rapid and constantly progressing growth, beginning about 60-mm body length. The first typical fat cells appear in animals of 360-400 mm. Regional differences are obvious for all skin layers with regard to the flippers, where structural maturation proceeds more rapidly than in dorsal or abdominal regions. PMID:7714905

  4. Enamel Ultrastructure in Fossil Cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti)

    PubMed Central

    Loch, Carolina; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti) underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand) to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile). Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth), the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB) with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward odontocetes, with the implication of less demanding feeding biomechanics as seen in most extant odontocetes. PMID:25629995

  5. Enamel ultrastructure in fossil cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Loch, Carolina; Kieser, Jules A; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti) underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand) to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile). Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth), the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB) with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward odontocetes, with the implication of less demanding feeding biomechanics as seen in most extant odontocetes. PMID:25629995

  6. Evidence for Positive Selection on the Leptin Gene in Cetacea and Pinnipedia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xin; Wang, Ding; Zheng, Jin-song; Yang, Guang; Xu, Shi-xia; Cho, Soochin; Zhang, Ya-ping

    2011-01-01

    The leptin gene has received intensive attention and scientific investigation for its importance in energy homeostasis and reproductive regulation in mammals. Furthermore, study of the leptin gene is of crucial importance for public health, particularly for its role in obesity, as well as for other numerous physiological roles that it plays in mammals. In the present work, we report the identification of novel leptin genes in 4 species of Cetacea, and a comparison with 55 publicly available leptin sequences from mammalian genome assemblies and previous studies. Our study provides evidence for positive selection in the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales) of the Cetacea and the family Phocidae (earless seals) of the Pinnipedia. We also detected positive selection in several leptin gene residues in these two lineages. To test whether leptin and its receptor evolved in a coordinated manner, we analyzed 24 leptin receptor gene (LPR) sequences from available mammalian genome assemblies and other published data. Unlike the case of leptin, our analyses did not find evidence of positive selection for LPR across the Cetacea and Pinnipedia lineages. In line with this, positively selected sites identified in the leptin genes of these two lineages were located outside of leptin receptor binding sites, which at least partially explains why co-evolution of leptin and its receptor was not observed in the present study. Our study provides interesting insights into current understanding of the evolution of mammalian leptin genes in response to selective pressures from life in an aquatic environment, and leads to a hypothesis that new tissue specificity or novel physiologic functions of leptin genes may have arisen in both odontocetes and phocids. Additional data from other species encompassing varying life histories and functional tests of the adaptive role of the amino acid changes identified in this study will help determine the factors that promote the adaptive evolution of the

  7. Mass stranding of Odontoceti caused by parasitogenic eighth cranial neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Morimitsu, T; Nagai, T; Ide, M; Kawano, H; Naichuu, A; Koono, M; Ishii, A

    1987-10-01

    Hearing organs of the Odontoceti from two mass strandings in 1983 and 1986 were examined histopathologically. In the 1983 stranding, two of three pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) were necropsied and numerous Nasitrema sp. were found close to the eighth cranial nerve (nervus vistibulo cochlearis) in both animals. Patchy degeneration of the eighth cranial nerve in and out of the modiolus of the cochlea was observed. In the 1986 stranding, five of 125 false killer whales (Pseudorca crassiclens) were examined and numerous trematodes (Nasitrema gondo) were found in the tympanic cavities. Severe degeneration of the eighth cranial nerve was discovered and there were many trematode eggs in the nervous and surrounding tissues. Parasitogenic eighth neuropathy is proposed again as the cause of mass stranding of the Odontoceti. PMID:3682083

  8. Comparison of lipids in selected tissues of the Florida manatee (Order Sirenia) and bottlenose dolphin (Order Cetacea; Suborder Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Ames, Audra L; Van Vleet, Edward S; Reynolds, John E

    2002-07-01

    The position, porosity and oil-filled nature of the zygomatic process of the squamosal bone (ZPSB) of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, suggest that it may have a similar sound conduction function to that of the intramandibular fat body (IMFB) of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and other odontocetes. To examine this possibility we determined the lipid composition of the ZPSB and adipose tissue from the dorsal part of the head region of the Florida manatee, and compared it to that of the dolphin IMFB and melon (another fatty area implicated in sound conduction in odontocetes). Lipids from manatee ZPSB and from adipose tissue were composed almost entirely of triacylglycerols. The most abundant fatty acids of the ZPSB were 18:1, 16:0, 14:0 and 16:1. The major fatty acids of the adipose tissue in the head were the four mentioned above, along with 12:0 and 18:0. Manatee samples did not contain isovaleric acid (iso-5:0), which was found in the bottlenose dolphin IMFB and melon, and has been related to sound conduction in dolphins and some other odontocetes. Thus, if manatee tissues are capable of sound conduction, and this process does occur through the ZPSB, a somewhat different suite of lipid components must support this function. PMID:12091108

  9. A new specimen of Agorophius pygmaeus (Agorophiidae, Odontoceti, Cetacea) from the Early Oligocene Ashley Formation of South Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godfrey, Stephen J.; Uhen, Mark D.; Osborne, Jason E.; Edwards, Lucy E.

    2016-01-01

    The holotype partial skull of Agorophius pygmaeus (the monotypic form for both the genus Agorophius and the Family Agorophiidae) has been missing for approximately 140 years. Since the discovery of Agorophius pygmaeus, many additional taxa and specimens have been placed in the Family Agorophiidae, only to be reclassified and removed later. This has created confusion as to what is and what is not an agorophiid and a lack of clarity as to what characteristics delimit the Agorophiidae. A newly discovered skull of an agorophiid recently collected from an underwater cliff face of the Ashley River, South Carolina, USA, is assigned to Agorophius pygmaeus. It derives from the base of the Ashley Formation (early Oligocene). The new specimen consists of most of the skull and periotics, which are well preserved and described for the first time in an agorophiid. The new specimen provides an opportunity to diagnose the Agorophiidae and place the genus and species within the phylogenetic context of the early odontocete radiation in the Oligocene, along with other taxa such as the Ashleycetidae, Mirocetidae, Patriocetidae, Simocetidae, Waipatiidae, and Xenorophidae. Based on this new understanding, Agorophiidae are known with certainty only from the early Oligocene of South Carolina, with other undescribed, potential agorophiid specimens from the Oligocene of the North Pacific region (Japan, Mexico, and Washington State).

  10. Molecular evolution tracks macroevolutionary transitions in Cetacea.

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R; Gatesy, John; Wildman, Derek E

    2014-06-01

    Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is a model group for investigating the molecular signature of macroevolutionary transitions. Recent research has begun to reveal the molecular underpinnings of the remarkable anatomical and behavioral transformation in this clade. This shift from terrestrial to aquatic environments is arguably the best-understood major morphological transition in vertebrate evolution. The ancestral body plan and physiology were extensively modified and, in many cases, these crucial changes are recorded in cetacean genomes. Recent studies have highlighted cetaceans as central to understanding adaptive molecular convergence and pseudogene formation. Here, we review current research in cetacean molecular evolution and the potential of Cetacea as a model for the study of other macroevolutionary transitions from a genomic perspective. PMID:24794916

  11. A supermatrix analysis of genomic, morphological, and paleontological data from crown Cetacea

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales) is a clade of aquatic species that includes the most massive, deepest diving, and largest brained mammals. Understanding the temporal pattern of diversification in the group as well as the evolution of cetacean anatomy and behavior requires a robust and well-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis. Although a large body of molecular data has accumulated over the past 20 years, DNA sequences of cetaceans have not been directly integrated with the rich, cetacean fossil record to reconcile discrepancies among molecular and morphological characters. Results We combined new nuclear DNA sequences, including segments of six genes (~2800 basepairs) from the functionally extinct Yangtze River dolphin, with an expanded morphological matrix and published genomic data. Diverse analyses of these data resolved the relationships of 74 taxa that represent all extant families and 11 extinct families of Cetacea. The resulting supermatrix (61,155 characters) and its sub-partitions were analyzed using parsimony methods. Bayesian and maximum likelihood (ML) searches were conducted on the molecular partition, and a molecular scaffold obtained from these searches was used to constrain a parsimony search of the morphological partition. Based on analysis of the supermatrix and model-based analyses of the molecular partition, we found overwhelming support for 15 extant clades. When extinct taxa are included, we recovered trees that are significantly correlated with the fossil record. These trees were used to reconstruct the timing of cetacean diversification and the evolution of characters shared by "river dolphins," a non-monophyletic set of species according to all of our phylogenetic analyses. Conclusions The parsimony analysis of the supermatrix and the analysis of morphology constrained to fit the ML/Bayesian molecular tree yielded broadly congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. In trees from both analyses, all Oligocene taxa included in our

  12. Phylogenetic relationships among the true porpoises (Cetacea:Phocoenidae).

    PubMed

    Rosel, P E; Haygood, M G; Perrin, W F

    1995-12-01

    Portions of the cytochrome b gene and control region of the mitochondrial DNA molecule were sequenced to investigate systematic relationships among the six extant species of true porpoises, (Cetacea: Phocoenidae). Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences support a close relationship between Burmeister's porpoise, Phocoena spinipinnis, and the vaquita, Phocoena sinus, and the association of these two species with the spectacled porpoise, Australophocaena dioptrica. The latter result is not in concordance with a recent morphological reclassification which groups A. dioptrica with Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli, in the subfamily Phocoenoidinae. The molecular analysis found no support for this grouping. A. dioptrica was originally described as a member of the genus Phocoena, and our results support returning it to that genus at this time. Finally, the data suggest that the tropical species Neophocaena phocaenoides, the finless porpoise, may represent the most basal member of the family. The control region sequences corroborated the relationships among the closely related taxa P. sinus, P. spinipinnis, and A. dioptrica, but were unable to resolve the deeper branches of the tree, probably as a result of a high level of saturation of these sequences. PMID:8747302

  13. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. PMID:27088853

  14. Hybridization in the Cetacea: widespread occurrence and associated morphological, behavioral, and ecological factors.

    PubMed

    Crossman, Carla A; Taylor, Eric B; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2016-03-01

    Hybridization has been documented in a many different pairs of cetacean species both in captivity and in the wild. The widespread occurrence of hybridization indicates that postmating barriers to interbreeding are incomplete within the order Cetacea, and therefore raises questions about how species integrity is maintained in the face of interspecific (and often intergeneric) gene flow. We examined hybridization across the order Cetacea (oceanic species included: N = 78; species with 44 chromosomes included: N = 52) to test for associations between the occurrence of hybridization and similarity across 13 ecological, morphological and behavioral traits in hybridizing vs. non-hybridizing species pairs. We found that species pairs that share a greater number of traits had a higher propensity to hybridize than pairs of species that did not. This trend was driven by behavioral and morphological traits such as vocalization frequency and body size. Together our findings suggest the importance of divergent selection on morphological and behavioral traits within sympatric species in constraining opportunities for hybridization and preventing the collapse of parental species. PMID:27087919

  15. Cranial symmetry in baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) and the occurrence of cranial asymmetry throughout cetacean evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahlke, Julia M.; Hampe, Oliver

    2015-10-01

    Odontoceti and Mysticeti (toothed and baleen whales) originated from Eocene archaeocetes that had evolved from terrestrial artiodactyls. Cranial asymmetry is known in odontocetes that can hear ultrasound (>20,000 Hz) and has been linked to the split function of the nasal passage in breathing and vocalization. Recent results indicate that archaeocetes also had asymmetric crania. Their asymmetry has been linked to directional hearing in water, although hearing frequencies are still under debate. Mysticetes capable of low-frequency and infrasonic hearing (<20 Hz) are assumed to have symmetric crania. This study aims to resolve whether mysticete crania are indeed symmetric and whether mysticete cranial symmetry is plesiomorphic or secondary. Cranial shape was analyzed applying geometric morphometrics to three-dimensional (3D) cranial models of fossil and modern mysticetes, Eocene archaeocetes, modern artiodactyls, and modern odontocetes. Statistical tests include analysis of variance, principal components analysis, and discriminant function analysis. Results suggest that symmetric shape difference reflects general trends in cetacean evolution. Asymmetry includes significant fluctuating and directional asymmetry, the latter being very small. Mysticete crania are as symmetric as those of terrestrial artiodactyls and archaeocetes, without significant differences within Mysticeti. Odontocete crania are more asymmetric. These results indicate that (1) all mysticetes have symmetric crania, (2) archaeocete cranial asymmetry is not conspicuous in most of the skull but may yet be conspicuous in the rostrum, (3) directional cranial asymmetry is an odontocete specialization, and (4) directional cranial asymmetry is more likely related to echolocation than hearing.

  16. Cranial symmetry in baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) and the occurrence of cranial asymmetry throughout cetacean evolution.

    PubMed

    Fahlke, Julia M; Hampe, Oliver

    2015-10-01

    Odontoceti and Mysticeti (toothed and baleen whales) originated from Eocene archaeocetes that had evolved from terrestrial artiodactyls. Cranial asymmetry is known in odontocetes that can hear ultrasound (>20,000 Hz) and has been linked to the split function of the nasal passage in breathing and vocalization. Recent results indicate that archaeocetes also had asymmetric crania. Their asymmetry has been linked to directional hearing in water, although hearing frequencies are still under debate. Mysticetes capable of low-frequency and infrasonic hearing (<20 Hz) are assumed to have symmetric crania. This study aims to resolve whether mysticete crania are indeed symmetric and whether mysticete cranial symmetry is plesiomorphic or secondary. Cranial shape was analyzed applying geometric morphometrics to three-dimensional (3D) cranial models of fossil and modern mysticetes, Eocene archaeocetes, modern artiodactyls, and modern odontocetes. Statistical tests include analysis of variance, principal components analysis, and discriminant function analysis. Results suggest that symmetric shape difference reflects general trends in cetacean evolution. Asymmetry includes significant fluctuating and directional asymmetry, the latter being very small. Mysticete crania are as symmetric as those of terrestrial artiodactyls and archaeocetes, without significant differences within Mysticeti. Odontocete crania are more asymmetric. These results indicate that (1) all mysticetes have symmetric crania, (2) archaeocete cranial asymmetry is not conspicuous in most of the skull but may yet be conspicuous in the rostrum, (3) directional cranial asymmetry is an odontocete specialization, and (4) directional cranial asymmetry is more likely related to echolocation than hearing. PMID:26336812

  17. A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, Erich M.G

    2006-01-01

    Extant baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) are all large filter-feeding marine mammals that lack teeth as adults, instead possessing baleen, and feed on small marine animals in bulk. The early evolution of these superlative mammals, and their unique feeding method, has hitherto remained enigmatic. Here, I report a new toothed mysticete from the Late Oligocene of Australia that is more archaic than any previously described. Unlike all other mysticetes, this new whale was small, had enormous eyes and lacked derived adaptations for bulk filter-feeding. Several morphological features suggest that this mysticete was a macrophagous predator, being convergent on some Mesozoic marine reptiles and the extant leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx). It thus refutes the notions that all stem mysticetes were filter-feeders, and that the origins and initial radiation of mysticetes was linked to the evolution of filter-feeding. Mysticetes evidently radiated into a variety of disparate forms and feeding ecologies before the evolution of baleen or filter-feeding. The phylogenetic context of the new whale indicates that basal mysticetes were macrophagous predators that did not employ filter-feeding or echolocation, and that the evolution of characters associated with bulk filter-feeding was gradual. PMID:17015308

  18. New fauna of archaeocete whales (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Bartonian middle Eocene of southern Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gingerich, Philip D.; Zouhri, Samir

    2015-11-01

    Six genera and species of archaic whales are present in a new fauna from the Aridal Formation at Gueran in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Morocco. Three of the archaeocete species represent semiaquatic Protocetidae and three species are fully aquatic Basilosauridae. Protocetids are characteristic of Lutetian lower middle Eocene strata, and basilosaurids are characteristic of Priabonian late Eocene beds. Similar representation of both families is restricted to intervening Bartonian strata and indicative of a late middle Eocene age. Archaeocetes from Gueran include (1) a small protocetid represented by a partial humerus, teeth, and vertebrae; (2) a middle-sized protocetid represented by a partial innominate and proximal femur; (3) the very large protocetid Pappocetus lugardi represented by teeth, a partial innominate, and two partial femora; (4) a new species of the small basilosaurid Chrysocetus represented by a dentary, teeth, humeri, and many vertebrae; (5) a new species of the larger basilosaurid Platyosphys (resurrected as a distinct genus) represented by a partial braincase, tympanic bulla, and many vertebrae; and (6) the large basilosaurid Eocetus schweinfurthi represented by teeth, a tympanic bulla, and lumbar vertebrae. The Gueran locality is important geologically because it constrains the age of a part of the Aridal Formation, and biologically because it includes a diversity of archaic whales represented by partial skeletons with vertebrae in sequence and by forelimb and hind limb remains. With further collecting, Gueran archaeocete skeletons promise to clarify the important evolutionary transition from foot-powered swimming in Protocetidae to the tail-powered swimming of Basilosauridae and all later Cetacea.

  19. Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2016-01-01

    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ∼29–24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene. PMID:27602287

  20. Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Alexandra T; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2016-01-01

    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ∼29-24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene. PMID:27602287

  1. Isthminia panamensis, a new fossil inioid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Chagres Formation of Panama and the evolution of ‘river dolphins’ in the Americas

    PubMed Central

    Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Gutstein, Carolina S.; Little, Holly; Vigil, Dioselina; O’Dea, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to dominant mode of ecological transition in the evolution of marine mammals, different lineages of toothed whales (Odontoceti) have repeatedly invaded freshwater ecosystems during the Cenozoic era. The so-called ‘river dolphins’ are now recognized as independent lineages that converged on similar morphological specializations (e.g., longirostry). In South America, the two endemic ‘river dolphin’ lineages form a clade (Inioidea), with closely related fossil inioids from marine rock units in the South Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil inioid, Isthminia panamensis, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene of Panama. The type and only known specimen consists of a partial skull, mandibles, isolated teeth, a right scapula, and carpal elements recovered from the Piña Facies of the Chagres Formation, along the Caribbean coast of Panama. Sedimentological and associated fauna from the Piña Facies point to fully marine conditions with high planktonic productivity about 6.1–5.8 million years ago (Messinian), pre-dating the final closure of the Isthmus of Panama. Along with ecomorphological data, we propose that Isthminia was primarily a marine inhabitant, similar to modern oceanic delphinoids. Phylogenetic analysis of fossil and living inioids, including new codings for Ischyrorhynchus, an enigmatic taxon from the late Miocene of Argentina, places Isthminia as the sister taxon to Inia, in a broader clade that includes Ischyrorhynchus and Meherrinia, a North American fossil inioid. This phylogenetic hypothesis complicates the possible scenarios for the freshwater invasion of the Amazon River system by stem relatives of Inia, but it remains consistent with a broader marine ancestry for Inioidea. Based on the fossil record of this group, along with Isthminia, we propose that a marine ancestor of Inia invaded Amazonia during late Miocene eustatic sea-level highs. PMID:26355720

  2. Isthminia panamensis, a new fossil inioid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Chagres Formation of Panama and the evolution of 'river dolphins' in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Pyenson, Nicholas D; Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Gutstein, Carolina S; Little, Holly; Vigil, Dioselina; O'Dea, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to dominant mode of ecological transition in the evolution of marine mammals, different lineages of toothed whales (Odontoceti) have repeatedly invaded freshwater ecosystems during the Cenozoic era. The so-called 'river dolphins' are now recognized as independent lineages that converged on similar morphological specializations (e.g., longirostry). In South America, the two endemic 'river dolphin' lineages form a clade (Inioidea), with closely related fossil inioids from marine rock units in the South Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil inioid, Isthminia panamensis, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene of Panama. The type and only known specimen consists of a partial skull, mandibles, isolated teeth, a right scapula, and carpal elements recovered from the Piña Facies of the Chagres Formation, along the Caribbean coast of Panama. Sedimentological and associated fauna from the Piña Facies point to fully marine conditions with high planktonic productivity about 6.1-5.8 million years ago (Messinian), pre-dating the final closure of the Isthmus of Panama. Along with ecomorphological data, we propose that Isthminia was primarily a marine inhabitant, similar to modern oceanic delphinoids. Phylogenetic analysis of fossil and living inioids, including new codings for Ischyrorhynchus, an enigmatic taxon from the late Miocene of Argentina, places Isthminia as the sister taxon to Inia, in a broader clade that includes Ischyrorhynchus and Meherrinia, a North American fossil inioid. This phylogenetic hypothesis complicates the possible scenarios for the freshwater invasion of the Amazon River system by stem relatives of Inia, but it remains consistent with a broader marine ancestry for Inioidea. Based on the fossil record of this group, along with Isthminia, we propose that a marine ancestor of Inia invaded Amazonia during late Miocene eustatic sea-level highs. PMID:26355720

  3. Catalog of type specimens of recent mammals: Orders Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Cetacea in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert D.; Ludwig, Craig A.

    2016-01-01

    The type collection of Recent mammals in the Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, contains 612 specimens bearing names of 604 species-group taxa of Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Cetacea as of May 2016. This catalog presents an annotated list of these holdings comprising 582 holotypes; 16 lectotypes, two of which are newly designated herein; 7 syntypes (15 specimens); and 1 neotype. Included are several specimens that should be in the collection but cannot be found or are now known to be in other collections and therefore are not in the database. Thirty-seven of the names are new since the last type catalog covering these orders, Arthur J. Poole and Viola S. Schantz’s 1942 “Catalog of the Type Specimens of Mammals in the United States National Museum, Including the Biological Surveys Collection” (Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 178). One of these, Lutra iowa Goldman, 1941, was transferred to the National Museum’s Paleobiology Department collection and is mentioned only briefly in this work. Orders and families are arranged systematically following D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder’s 2005 Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, third edition, volume 1; within families, currently recognized genera are arranged alphabetically, and within each currently recognized genus, species and subspecies accounts are arranged alphabetically by original published name. Information in each account includes original name and abbreviated citation thereto, current name if other than original, citation for first use of current name combination for the taxon, type designation, U.S. National Museum catalog number(s), preparation, age and sex, date of collection and collector, original collector number, type locality, and remarks as appropriate. Digital photographs of each specimen will serve as a condition report and will be attached to each electronic specimen record. An addendum

  4. Identification of a novel gammaherpesvirus associated with (muco)cutaneous lesions in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).

    PubMed

    van Beurden, Steven J; IJsseldijk, Lonneke L; Ordonez, Soledad R; Förster, Christine; de Vrieze, Geert; Gröne, Andrea; Verheije, M Hélène; Kik, Marja

    2015-12-01

    Herpesviruses infect a wide range of vertebrates, including toothed whales of the order Cetacea. One of the smallest toothed whales is the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), which is widespread in the coastal waters of the northern hemisphere, including the North Sea. Here, we describe the detection and phylogenetic analysis of a novel gammaherpesvirus associated with mucocutaneous and skin lesions in stranded harbour porpoises along the Dutch coast, tentatively designated phocoenid herpesvirus 1 (PhoHV1). Phylogenetically, PhoHV1 forms a monophyletic clade with all other gammaherpesviruses described in toothed whales (Odontoceti) to date, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. PMID:26370791

  5. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    PubMed

    Gatesy, John; Geisler, Jonathan H; Chang, Joseph; Buell, Carl; Berta, Annalisa; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S; McGowen, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life. PMID:23103570

  6. Rod Monochromacy and the Coevolution of Cetacean Retinal Opsins

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, Robert W.; Gatesy, John; Emerling, Christopher A.; York, Vincent M.; Springer, Mark S.

    2013-01-01

    Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary history of this clade. In the case of vision, previous studies have demonstrated important changes in the genes encoding rod opsin (RH1), short-wavelength sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1), and long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS) in selected cetaceans, but have not examined the full complement of opsin genes across the complete range of cetacean families. Here, we report protein-coding sequences for RH1 and both color opsin genes (SWS1, LWS) from representatives of all extant cetacean families. We examine competing hypotheses pertaining to the timing of blue shifts in RH1 relative to SWS1 inactivation in the early history of Cetacea, and we test the hypothesis that some cetaceans are rod monochomats. Molecular evolutionary analyses contradict the “coastal” hypothesis, wherein SWS1 was pseudogenized in the common ancestor of Cetacea, and instead suggest that RH1 was blue-shifted in the common ancestor of Cetacea before SWS1 was independently knocked out in baleen whales (Mysticeti) and in toothed whales (Odontoceti). Further, molecular evidence implies that LWS was inactivated convergently on at least five occasions in Cetacea: (1) Balaenidae (bowhead and right whales), (2) Balaenopteroidea (rorquals plus gray whale), (3) Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby's beaked whale), (4) Physeter macrocephalus (giant sperm whale), and (5) Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale). All of these cetaceans are known to dive to depths of at least 100 m where the underwater light field is dim and dominated by blue light. The knockout of both SWS1 and LWS in multiple cetacean lineages renders these taxa rod monochromats, a condition previously unknown among

  7. Rod monochromacy and the coevolution of cetacean retinal opsins.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Emerling, Christopher A; York, Vincent M; Springer, Mark S

    2013-04-01

    Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary history of this clade. In the case of vision, previous studies have demonstrated important changes in the genes encoding rod opsin (RH1), short-wavelength sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1), and long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS) in selected cetaceans, but have not examined the full complement of opsin genes across the complete range of cetacean families. Here, we report protein-coding sequences for RH1 and both color opsin genes (SWS1, LWS) from representatives of all extant cetacean families. We examine competing hypotheses pertaining to the timing of blue shifts in RH1 relative to SWS1 inactivation in the early history of Cetacea, and we test the hypothesis that some cetaceans are rod monochomats. Molecular evolutionary analyses contradict the "coastal" hypothesis, wherein SWS1 was pseudogenized in the common ancestor of Cetacea, and instead suggest that RH1 was blue-shifted in the common ancestor of Cetacea before SWS1 was independently knocked out in baleen whales (Mysticeti) and in toothed whales (Odontoceti). Further, molecular evidence implies that LWS was inactivated convergently on at least five occasions in Cetacea: (1) Balaenidae (bowhead and right whales), (2) Balaenopteroidea (rorquals plus gray whale), (3) Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby's beaked whale), (4) Physeter macrocephalus (giant sperm whale), and (5) Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale). All of these cetaceans are known to dive to depths of at least 100 m where the underwater light field is dim and dominated by blue light. The knockout of both SWS1 and LWS in multiple cetacean lineages renders these taxa rod monochromats, a condition previously unknown among

  8. The evolutionary history of cetacean brain and body size.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Geisler, Jonathan H; McGowen, Michael R; Fox, Charlotte; Marino, Lori; Gatesy, John

    2013-11-01

    Cetaceans rival primates in brain size relative to body size and include species with the largest brains and biggest bodies to have ever evolved. Cetaceans are remarkably diverse, varying in both phenotypes by several orders of magnitude, with notable differences between the two extant suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We analyzed the evolutionary history of brain and body mass, and relative brain size measured by the encephalization quotient (EQ), using a data set of extinct and extant taxa to capture temporal variation in the mode and direction of evolution. Our results suggest that cetacean brain and body mass evolved under strong directional trends to increase through time, but decreases in EQ were widespread. Mysticetes have significantly lower EQs than odontocetes due to a shift in brain:body allometry following the divergence of the suborders, caused by rapid increases in body mass in Mysticeti and a period of body mass reduction in Odontoceti. The pattern in Cetacea contrasts with that in primates, which experienced strong trends to increase brain mass and relative brain size, but not body mass. We discuss what these analyses reveal about the convergent evolution of large brains, and highlight that until recently the most encephalized mammals were odontocetes, not primates. PMID:24152011

  9. Dental wear in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) from southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loch, Carolina; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C

    2013-02-01

    (1) Dental wear is a common phenomenon in mammals. Its occurrence is influenced by tooth anatomy, animal physiology, biomechanics and behaviour. So far, investigations of dental wear in cetaceans have been scanty and superficial. We compare the frequencies of occurrence, location and intensity of dental wear in some species of dolphins from southern Brazil, South Atlantic Ocean. (2) Teeth of ten species were evaluated using a stereoscopic microscope to identify wear facets, which were classified according to location, anatomical position and wear intensity. (3) Frequencies of dental wear were high for all species with exception of Delphinus capensis, with less than 50% of teeth worn. Simultaneous wear facets in the apex and lateral of teeth were more common than facets restricted to the apex or lateral faces. Wear on the dental crown was more common, but some species showed less frequent wear down to the cingulum or root level. Superficial wear seems to be the general trend for dolphins, but Stenella coeruleoalba and Pseudorca crassidens showed a higher frequency of severe wear. Only for Tursiops truncatus the frequencies of wear were significantly different between males and females. When considering the ontogeny of dental wear, only for T. truncatus and Stenella frontalis indexes of dental wear were correlated with body length. (4) Whether dental wear has implications or not in fitness and feeding behaviour, severely worn teeth may expose the pulp cavity and increase the susceptibility to local infections. PMID:22939372

  10. Morphology and variation in porpoise (Cetacea: Phocoenidae) cranial endocasts.

    PubMed

    Racicot, Rachel A; Colbert, Matthew W

    2013-06-01

    Evolution of endocranial anatomy in cetaceans is important from the perspective of echolocation ability, intelligence, social structure, and alternate pathways for circulation to the brain. Apart from the importance of studying brain shape and asymmetries as they relate to aspects of behavior and intelligence, cranial endocasts can show a close correspondence to the hydrostatic shape of the brain in life, and canals and grooves can preserve features of the circulatory system. Multiple samples are rarely available for studies of individual variation, especially in fossils, thus a first step in quantifying variation and making comparisons with fossils is made possible with CT scans of osteological specimens. This study presents a series of high-resolution X-ray CT-derived cranial endocasts of six extant species of Phocoenidae, a clade including some of the smallest and one of the rarest cetaceans. Degree of gyrification varies interspecifically and intraspecifically, possibly resulting from variation in preservation of the ossified meninges. Computed tomographic data show that visually assessed asymmetry in the cranial endocasts is not correlated with volumetric measurements, but nonetheless may reflect torsion in the skull's shape such that the right cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres extend rostrally and laterally more than the left. Vasculature and canals are similar to other described cetacean species, but the hypophyseal casts are unusual. Similarities between brain shape and volume measurements in the different species can be attributed to paedomorphism and concomitant variation in ecological preferences. This may explain similarities Neophocaena phocaenoides and Phocoena sinus share with the juvenile Phocoena phocoena specimen studied. PMID:23613315

  11. Seven new dolphin mitochondrial genomes and a time-calibrated phylogeny of whales

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Ye; Brandley, Matthew C; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2009-01-01

    Background The phylogeny of Cetacea (whales) is not fully resolved with substantial support. The ambiguous and conflicting results of multiple phylogenetic studies may be the result of the use of too little data, phylogenetic methods that do not adequately capture the complex nature of DNA evolution, or both. In addition, there is also evidence that the generic taxonomy of Delphinidae (dolphins) underestimates its diversity. To remedy these problems, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven dolphins and analyzed these data with partitioned Bayesian analyses. Moreover, we incorporate a newly-developed "relaxed" molecular clock to model heterogenous rates of evolution among cetacean lineages. Results The "deep" phylogenetic relationships are well supported including the monophyly of Cetacea and Odontoceti. However, there is ambiguity in the phylogenetic affinities of two of the river dolphin clades Platanistidae (Indian River dolphins) and Lipotidae (Yangtze River dolphins). The phylogenetic analyses support a sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae + Phocoenidae. Additionally, there is statistically significant support for the paraphyly of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins) and Stenella (spotted dolphins). Conclusion Our phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes using recently developed models of rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major Cetacean lineages with a high degree of confidence. Our results indicate that a rapid radiation of lineages explains the lack of support the placement of Platanistidae and Lipotidae. Moreover, our estimation of molecular divergence dates indicates that these radiations occurred in the Middle to Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene, respectively. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing seven new mitochondrial genomes, we provide strong evidence that the delphinid genera Tursiops and Stenella are not monophyletic, and the current taxonomy masks potentially

  12. Cytochrome b and Bayesian inference of whale phylogeny.

    PubMed

    May-Collado, Laura; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2006-02-01

    In the mid 1990s cytochrome b and other mitochondrial DNA data reinvigorated cetacean phylogenetics by proposing many novel and provocative hypotheses of cetacean relationships. These results sparked a revision and reanalysis of morphological datasets, and the collection of new nuclear DNA data from numerous loci. Some of the most controversial mitochondrial hypotheses have now become benchmark clades, corroborated with nuclear DNA and morphological data; others have been resolved in favor of more traditional views. That major conflicts in cetacean phylogeny are disappearing is encouraging. However, most recent papers aim specifically to resolve higher-level conflicts by adding characters, at the cost of densely sampling taxa to resolve lower-level relationships. No molecular study to date has included more than 33 cetaceans. More detailed molecular phylogenies will provide better tools for evolutionary studies. Until more genes are available for a high number of taxa, can we rely on readily available single gene mitochondrial data? Here, we estimate the phylogeny of 66 cetacean taxa and 24 outgroups based on Cytb sequences. We judge the reliability of our phylogeny based on the recovery of several deep-level benchmark clades. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis recovered all benchmark clades and for the first time supported Odontoceti monophyly based exclusively on analysis of a single mitochondrial gene. The results recover the monophyly of all but one family level taxa within Cetacea, and most recently proposed super- and subfamilies. In contrast, parsimony never recovered all benchmark clades and was sensitive to a priori weighting decisions. These results provide the most detailed phylogeny of Cetacea to date and highlight the utility of both Bayesian methodology in general, and of Cytb in cetacean phylogenetics. They furthermore suggest that dense taxon sampling, like dense character sampling, can overcome problems in phylogenetic reconstruction. PMID:16325433

  13. The Comparative Osteology of the Petrotympanic Complex (Ear Region) of Extant Baleen Whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti)

    PubMed Central

    Ekdale, Eric G.; Berta, Annalisa; Deméré, Thomas A.

    2011-01-01

    Background Anatomical comparisons of the ear region of baleen whales (Mysticeti) are provided through detailed osteological descriptions and high-resolution photographs of the petrotympanic complex (tympanic bulla and petrosal bone) of all extant species of mysticete cetaceans. Salient morphological features are illustrated and identified, including overall shape of the bulla, size of the conical process of the bulla, morphology of the promontorium, and the size and shape of the anterior process of the petrosal. We place our comparative osteological observations into a phylogenetic context in order to initiate an exploration into petrotympanic evolution within Mysticeti. Principal Findings The morphology of the petrotympanic complex is diagnostic for individual species of baleen whale (e.g., sigmoid and conical processes positioned at midline of bulla in Balaenoptera musculus; confluence of fenestra cochleae and perilymphatic foramen in Eschrichtius robustus), and several mysticete clades are united by derived characteristics. Balaenids and neobalaenids share derived features of the bulla, such as a rhomboid shape and a reduced anterior lobe (swelling) in ventral aspect, and eschrichtiids share derived morphologies of the petrosal with balaenopterids, including loss of a medial promontory groove and dorsomedial elongation of the promontorium. Monophyly of Balaenoidea (Balaenidae and Neobalaenidae) and Balaenopteroidea (Balaenopteridae and Eschrichtiidae) was recovered in phylogenetic analyses utilizing data exclusively from the petrotympanic complex. Significance This study fills a major gap in our knowledge of the complex structures of the mysticete petrotympanic complex, which is an important anatomical region for the interpretation of the evolutionary history of mammals. In addition, we introduce a novel body of phylogenetically informative characters from the ear region of mysticetes. Our detailed anatomical descriptions, illustrations, and comparisons provide valuable data for current and future studies on the phylogenetic relationships, evolution, and auditory physiology of mysticetes and other cetaceans throughout Earth's history. PMID:21731700

  14. Decompression syndrome and the evolution of deep diving physiology in the Cetacea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beatty, Brian Lee; Rothschild, Bruce M.

    2008-09-01

    Whales repetitively dive deep to feed and should be susceptible to decompression syndrome, though they are not known to suffer the associated pathologies. Avascular osteonecrosis has been recognized as an indicator of diving habits of extinct marine amniotes. Vertebrae of 331 individual modern and 996 fossil whales were subjected to macroscopic and radiographic examination. Avascular osteonecrosis was found in the Oligocene basal odontocetes (Xenorophoidea) and in geologically younger mysticetes, such as Aglaocetus [a sister taxon to Balaenopteridae + (Balaenidae + Eschrichtiidae) clade]. These are considered as early “experiments” in repetitive deep diving, indicating that they independently converged on their similar specialized diving physiologies.

  15. Anatomy of nasal complex in the southern right whale, Eubalaena australis (Cetacea, Mysticeti).

    PubMed

    Buono, Mónica R; Fernández, Marta S; Fordyce, R Ewan; Reidenberg, Joy S

    2015-01-01

    The nasal region of the skull has undergone dramatic changes during the course of cetacean evolution. In particular, mysticetes (baleen whales) conserve the nasal mammalian pattern associated with the secondary function of olfaction, and lack the sound-producing specializations present in odontocetes (toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises). To improve our understanding of the morphology of the nasal region of mysticetes, we investigate the nasal anatomy, osteology and myology of the southern right whale, Eubalaena australis, and make comparisons with other mysticetes. In E. australis external deflection surfaces around the blowholes appear to divert water off the head, and differ in appearance from those observed in balaenopterids, eschrichtiids and cetotherids. In E. australis the blowholes are placed above hypertrophied nasal soft tissues formed by fat and nasal muscles, a pattern also observed in balaenopterids (rorqual mysticetes) and a cetotherid (pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata). Blowhole movements are due to the action of five nasofacial muscles: dilator naris superficialis, dilator naris profundus, depressor alae nasi, constrictor naris, and retractor alae nasi. The dilator naris profundus found in E. australis has not been previously reported in balaenopterids. The other nasofacial muscles have a similar arrangement in balaenopterids, with minor differences. A novel structure, not reported previously in any mysticete, is the presence of a vascular tissue (rete mirabile) covering the lower nasal passage. This vascular tissue could play a role in warming inspired air, or may engorge to accommodate loss of respiratory space volume due to gas compression from increased pressure during diving. PMID:25440939

  16. Nonconstant quality of auditory filters in the porpoises, Phocoena phocoena and Neophocaena phocaenoides (Cetacea, Phocoenidae).

    PubMed

    Popov, Vladimir V; Supin, Alexander Ya; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong

    2006-05-01

    Simultaneous tone-tone masking in conjunction with the envelope-following response (EFR) recording was used to obtain tuning curves in porpoises Phocoena phocoena and Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis. The EFR was evoked by amplitude-modulated probes with a modulation rate of 1000 Hz and carrier frequencies from 22.5 to 140 kHz. Equivalent rectangular quality QERB of the obtained tuning curves varied from 8.3-8.6 at lower (22.5-32 kHz) probe frequencies to 44.8-47.4 at high (128-140 kHz) frequencies. The QERB dependence on probe frequency could be approximated by regression lines with a slope of 0.83 to 0.86 in log-log scale, which corresponded to almost frequency-proportional quality and almost constant bandwidth of 3-4 kHz. Thus, the frequency representation in the porpoise auditory system is much closer to a constant-bandwidth rather that to a constant-quality manner. PMID:16708972

  17. Dental pathology in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) from the southern coast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loch, Carolina; Grando, Liliane J; Kieser, Jules A; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C

    2011-05-01

    Pathological processes observed in the stomatognathic systems of mammalian species are a useful source of information about the habits, evolution and general health of such animals. Studies of pathological conditions on teeth are common in humans and other primates, but rare in wild animals in general and marine mammals in particular. For cetaceans, previous studies provided scanty records of dental anomalies in a few species. This is the first broad and systematic inventory of dental pathology in dolphins. Specimens stored at scientific collections from the southern coast of Brazil were visually inspected under a stereoscopic microscope using a dental explorer. Diagnosis of lesions and anomalies followed literature descriptions. Abnormalities such as caries-like lesions, mineralized calculus deposits, dental erosion, enamel anomalies (hypoplasia and exogenous pigmentation), root resorption, germination and other shape anomalies, were diagnosed in the delphinids Sotalia guianensis, Delphinus capensis, Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba, Lagenodelphis hosei, Pseudorca crassidens, Orcinus orca, Steno bredanensis and Tursiops truncatus. Endogenous causes may be related to the occurrence of certain conditions, but the aetiology of caries-like lesions and calculus accumulation is still unknown for cetaceans. The diagnosis of alveolar anomalies and other bone lesions in specimens with dental pathology lead us to believe these lesions modify the integrity of the periodontal ligament and bony tissues, adding to the burden of morbidity of affected animals. PMID:21790069

  18. A new species of Metopocetus (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Cetotheriidae) from the Late Miocene of the Netherlands

    PubMed Central

    Bosselaers, Mark E.J.; Louwye, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The family Cetotheriidae has played a major role in recent discussions of baleen whale phylogenetics. Within this group, the enigmatic, monotypic Metopocetus durinasus has been interpreted as transitional between herpetocetines and other members of the family, but so far has been restricted to a single, fragmentary cranium of uncertain provenance and age. Here, we expand the genus and shed new light on its phylogenetic affinities and functional morphology by describing Metopocetus hunteri sp. nov. from the Late Miocene of the Netherlands. Unlike the holotype of M. durinasus, the material described here is confidently dated and preserves both the tympanic bulla and additional details of the basicranium. M. hunteri closely resembles M. durinasus, differing primarily in its somewhat less distally expanded compound posterior process of the tympanoperiotic. Both species are characterised by the development of an unusually large fossa on the ventral surface of the paroccipital process, which extends anteriorly on to the compound posterior process and completely floors the facial sulcus. In life, this enlarged fossa may have housed the posterior sinus and/or the articulation of the stylohyal. Like other cetotheriids, Metopocetus also bears a well-developed, posteriorly-pointing dorsal infraorbital foramen near the base of the ascending process of the maxilla, the precise function of which remains unclear. PMID:26835183

  19. Comparative morphology of porpoise (Cetacea: Phocoenidae) pterygoid sinuses: phylogenetic and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Racicot, Rachel A; Berta, Annalisa

    2013-01-01

    High-resolution X-ray computed tomographic scans were used to examine pterygoid sinus morphology within extant porpoise species and one delphinid (Tursiops truncatus), in order to consider: 1) intraspecific and interspecific variation among the studied species; 2) the most parsimonious sequence of character acquisition; and 3) the potential functional roles of the preorbital lobes of the sinuses in sound reflection. Scans revealed that the pterygoid/palatine regions are mediolaterally broader in the earliest diverging phocoenid (Neophocaena phocaenoides) and Tursiops truncatus than the dorsoventrally elongated sinuses observed in other species. Rostrocaudal lengths of the sphenoidal regions of the sinuses in all individuals studied are proportionally similar, indicating conservatism in this region across species. The neonate Phocoena phocoena has shorter preorbital lobes than adults, but they are still proportionally longer than Neophocaena phocaenoides and Phocoena spinipinnis. The preorbital lobes broaden mediolaterally to varying degrees across species; in particular, Phocoenoides dalli has the largest dorsal and lateral expansion of this region. Assuming the highest pulse frequency produced by porpoises is 150 kHz, all regions of the preorbital lobes are thick enough to reflect the wavelengths produced. In addition, the neonate preorbital lobes are not as elongated as they are in adults, and the dorsal third of this region may not reflect sound to the same extent. This study reinforces the importance of using nondestructive methods to quantify variation in endocranial anatomy and the value of CT data for recovering phylogenetically useful information, as well as functional roles sinuses play in concert with the soft tissue head anatomy for biosonar. PMID:22965565

  20. A new middle eocene whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hulbert, R.C., Jr.; Petkewich, R.M.; Bishop, G.A.; Bukry, D.; Aleshire, D.P.

    1998-01-01

    A shallow-marine fossil biota was recovered from the Blue Bluff unit (formerly part of the McBean Formation) in the Upper Coastal Plain of eastern Georgia. Biochronologically significant mollusks (e.g., Turritella nasuta, Cubitostrea sellaeformis, Pteropsella lapidosa) and calcareous nannoplankton (e.g., Chiasmolithus solitus, Reticulofenestra umbilica, Cribocentrum reticulatum) indicate a latest Lutetian-earliest Bartonian age, or about 40 to 41 Ma. Georgiacetus vogtlensis new genus and species is described from a well-preserved, partial skeleton. Georgiacetus is the oldest known whale with a true pterygoid sinus fossa in its basicranium and a pelvis that did not articulate directly with the sacral vertebrae, two features whose acquisitions were important steps toward adaptation to a fully marine existence. The posterior four cheek teeth of G. vogtlensis form a series of carnassial-like shearing blades. These teeth also bear small, blunt accessory cusps, which are regarded as being homologous with the larger, sharper accessory cusps of basilosaurid cheek teeth.

  1. Effect of lactation stage and concurrent pregnancy on milk composition in the bottlenose dolphin

    PubMed Central

    West, K L; Oftedal, O T; Carpenter, J R; Krames, B J; Campbell, M; Sweeney, J C

    2007-01-01

    Although many toothed whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti) lactate for 2–3 years or more, it is not known whether milk composition is affected by lactation stage in any odontocete species. We collected 64 pooled milk samples spanning 1–30 months postpartum from three captive bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. Milks were assayed for water, fat, crude protein (TN × 6.38) and sugar; gross energy was calculated. Ovulation and pregnancy were determined via monitoring of milk progesterone. Based on analysis of changes in milk composition for each individual dolphin, there were significant increases (P<0.05) in fat (in all three dolphins) and crude protein (in two of three), and a decrease (P<0.05) in water (in two of three) over the course of lactation, but the sugar content did not change. In all three animals, the energy content was positively correlated with month of lactation, but the percentage of energy provided by crude protein declined slightly but significantly (P<0.05). At mid-lactation (7–12 months postpartum, n=17), milk averaged 73.0±1.0% water, 12.8±1.0% fat, 8.9±0.5% crude protein, 1.0±0.1% sugar, 1.76±0.09 kcal g−1 (=7.25 kJ g−1) and 30.3±1.3% protein:energy per cent. This protein:energy per cent was surprisingly high compared with other cetaceans and in relation to the growth rates of calves. Milk progesterone indicated that dolphins ovulated and conceived between 413 and 673 days postpartum, following an increase in milk energy density. The significance of these observed compositional changes to calf nutrition will depend on the amounts of milk produced at different stages of lactation, and how milk composition and yield are influenced by sampling procedure, maternal diet and maternal condition, none of which are known. PMID:22140298

  2. Clicking in Shallow Rivers: Short-Range Echolocation of Irrawaddy and Ganges River Dolphins in a Shallow, Acoustically Complex Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Frants H.; Rocco, Alice; Mansur, Rubaiyat M.; Smith, Brian D.; Janik, Vincent M.; Madsen, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Toothed whales (Cetacea, odontoceti) use biosonar to navigate their environment and to find and catch prey. All studied toothed whale species have evolved highly directional, high-amplitude ultrasonic clicks suited for long-range echolocation of prey in open water. Little is known about the biosonar signals of toothed whale species inhabiting freshwater habitats such as endangered river dolphins. To address the evolutionary pressures shaping the echolocation signal parameters of non-marine toothed whales, we investigated the biosonar source parameters of Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) within the river systems of the Sundarban mangrove forest. Both Ganges and Irrawaddy dolphins produced echolocation clicks with a high repetition rate and low source level compared to marine species. Irrawaddy dolphins, inhabiting coastal and riverine habitats, produced a mean source level of 195 dB (max 203 dB) re 1 µPapp whereas Ganges river dolphins, living exclusively upriver, produced a mean source level of 184 dB (max 191) re 1 µPapp. These source levels are 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than those of similar sized marine delphinids and may reflect an adaptation to a shallow, acoustically complex freshwater habitat with high reverberation and acoustic clutter. The centroid frequency of Ganges river dolphin clicks are an octave lower than predicted from scaling, but with an estimated beamwidth comparable to that of porpoises. The unique bony maxillary crests found in the Platanista forehead may help achieve a higher directionality than expected using clicks nearly an octave lower than similar sized odontocetes. PMID:23573197

  3. Clicking in shallow rivers: short-range echolocation of Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins in a shallow, acoustically complex habitat.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Frants H; Rocco, Alice; Mansur, Rubaiyat M; Smith, Brian D; Janik, Vincent M; Madsen, Peter T

    2013-01-01

    Toothed whales (Cetacea, odontoceti) use biosonar to navigate their environment and to find and catch prey. All studied toothed whale species have evolved highly directional, high-amplitude ultrasonic clicks suited for long-range echolocation of prey in open water. Little is known about the biosonar signals of toothed whale species inhabiting freshwater habitats such as endangered river dolphins. To address the evolutionary pressures shaping the echolocation signal parameters of non-marine toothed whales, we investigated the biosonar source parameters of Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) within the river systems of the Sundarban mangrove forest. Both Ganges and Irrawaddy dolphins produced echolocation clicks with a high repetition rate and low source level compared to marine species. Irrawaddy dolphins, inhabiting coastal and riverine habitats, produced a mean source level of 195 dB (max 203 dB) re 1 µPapp whereas Ganges river dolphins, living exclusively upriver, produced a mean source level of 184 dB (max 191) re 1 µPapp. These source levels are 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of similar sized marine delphinids and may reflect an adaptation to a shallow, acoustically complex freshwater habitat with high reverberation and acoustic clutter. The centroid frequency of Ganges river dolphin clicks are an octave lower than predicted from scaling, but with an estimated beamwidth comparable to that of porpoises. The unique bony maxillary crests found in the Platanista forehead may help achieve a higher directionality than expected using clicks nearly an octave lower than similar sized odontocetes. PMID:23573197

  4. [Occurrence and behavioral patterns of the spotted coastal dolphin Stenella attenuata (Cetacea: delphinidae) in the Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    May-Collado, Laura; Ramírez, Alvaro Morales

    2005-01-01

    Dolphins are characterized by a significant behavioral versatility, which allows them to respond to environmental seasonality. Seasonal variation in dolphin behavior in tropical waters is not well known. Stenella attenuata graffmani is a resident dolphin in the clearly defined seasonal Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica, and we studied if dolphin group size, occurrence and behavioral patterns were associated with season and time of day in the gulf. Using strip transects we surveyed two locations for three consecutive years. School size ranged from 1 to 50 individuals, mean group size was 10.16 (SD = 9.61) individuals. Overall, foraging activities were the most frequent, followed by social interactions and travel. From 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM we mostly observed social interactions, followed by feeding-socializing (9:00 AM-12:00 PM) and feeding exclusively (12:00 PM-3:00 PM). Social activities intensified afterwards (3:00 PM-6:00 PM). Behavior and gulf seasonality were associated (chi2 = 90.52, gl = 6, p<0.05, n = 99). In the dry season (December-April) feeding predominated over other activities, but socializing was more frequent in the early rainy season (May-July). Larger groups (mean 12 dolphins) forage actively; smaller groups (mean 6 dolphins 6.51 +/- 5.12) foraged more passively. Seasonal variation in dolphin activities are likely to be associated with food availability, as observed in the high number of groups involved in foraging behaviors, and a high investment in foraging activities during the dry season. PMID:17354439

  5. Eye, nose, hair, and throat: external anatomy of the head of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtiidae).

    PubMed

    Berta, Annalisa; Ekdale, Eric G; Zellmer, Nicholas T; Deméré, Thomas A; Kienle, Sarah S; Smallcomb, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Information is scarce on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) anatomy and that of mysticetes in general. Dissection of the head of a neonatal gray whale revealed novel anatomical details of the eye, blowhole, incisive papilla with associated nasopalatine ducts, sensory hairs, and throat grooves. Compared to a similar sized right whale calf, the gray whale eyeball is nearly twice as long. The nasal cartilages of the gray whale, located between the blowholes, differ from the bowhead in having accessory cartilages. A small, fleshy incisive papilla bordered by two blind nasopalatine pits near the palate's rostral tip, previously undescribed in gray whales, may be associated with the vomeronasal organ, although histological evidence is needed for definitive identification. Less well known among mysticetes are the numerous elongated, stiff sensory hairs (vibrissae) observed on the gray whale rostrum from the ventral tip to the blowhole and on the mandible. These hairs are concentrated on the chin, and those on the lower jaw are arranged in a V-shaped pattern. We confirm the presence of two primary, anteriorly converging throat grooves, confined to the throat region similar to those of ziphiid and physeteroid odontocetes. A third, shorter groove occurs lateral to the left primary groove. The throat grooves in the gray whale have been implicated in gular expansion during suction feeding. PMID:25737431

  6. Bone-breaking bite force of Basilosaurus isis (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the late Eocene of Egypt estimated by finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Snively, Eric; Fahlke, Julia M; Welsh, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Bite marks suggest that the late Eocence archaeocete whale Basilosaurus isis (Birket Qarun Formation, Egypt) fed upon juveniles of the contemporary basilosaurid Dorudon atrox. Finite element analysis (FEA) of a nearly complete adult cranium of B. isis enables estimates of its bite force and tests the animal's capabilities for crushing bone. Two loadcases reflect different biting scenarios: 1) an intitial closing phase, with all adductors active and a full condylar reaction force; and 2) a shearing phase, with the posterior temporalis active and minimized condylar force. The latter is considered probable when the jaws were nearly closed because the preserved jaws do not articulate as the molariform teeth come into occulusion. Reaction forces with all muscles active indicate that B. isis maintained relatively greater bite force anteriorly than seen in large crocodilians, and exerted a maximum bite force of at least 16,400 N at its upper P3. Under the shearing scenario with minimized condylar forces, tooth reaction forces could exceed 20,000 N despite lower magnitudes of muscle force. These bite forces at the teeth are consistent with bone indentations on Dorudon crania, reatract-and-shear hypotheses of Basilosaurus bite function, and seizure of prey by anterior teeth as proposed for other archaeocetes. The whale's bite forces match those estimated for pliosaurus when skull lengths are equalized, suggesting similar tradeoffs of bite function and hydrodynamics. Reaction forces in B. isis were lower than maxima estimated for large crocodylians and carnivorous dinosaurs. However, comparison of force estimates from FEA and regression data indicate that B. isis exerted the largest bite forces yet estimated for any mammal, and greater force than expected from its skull width. Cephalic feeding biomechanics of Basilosaurus isis are thus consistent with habitual predation. PMID:25714832

  7. Bone-Breaking Bite Force of Basilosaurus isis (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Late Eocene of Egypt Estimated by Finite Element Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Snively, Eric; Fahlke, Julia M.; Welsh, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Bite marks suggest that the late Eocence archaeocete whale Basilosaurus isis (Birket Qarun Formation, Egypt) fed upon juveniles of the contemporary basilosaurid Dorudon atrox. Finite element analysis (FEA) of a nearly complete adult cranium of B. isis enables estimates of its bite force and tests the animal’s capabilities for crushing bone. Two loadcases reflect different biting scenarios: 1) an intitial closing phase, with all adductors active and a full condylar reaction force; and 2) a shearing phase, with the posterior temporalis active and minimized condylar force. The latter is considered probable when the jaws were nearly closed because the preserved jaws do not articulate as the molariform teeth come into occulusion. Reaction forces with all muscles active indicate that B. isis maintained relatively greater bite force anteriorly than seen in large crocodilians, and exerted a maximum bite force of at least 16,400 N at its upper P3. Under the shearing scenario with minimized condylar forces, tooth reaction forces could exceed 20,000 N despite lower magnitudes of muscle force. These bite forces at the teeth are consistent with bone indentations on Dorudon crania, reatract-and-shear hypotheses of Basilosaurus bite function, and seizure of prey by anterior teeth as proposed for other archaeocetes. The whale’s bite forces match those estimated for pliosaurus when skull lengths are equalized, suggesting similar tradeoffs of bite function and hydrodynamics. Reaction forces in B. isis were lower than maxima estimated for large crocodylians and carnivorous dinosaurs. However, comparison of force estimates from FEA and regression data indicate that B. isis exerted the largest bite forces yet estimated for any mammal, and greater force than expected from its skull width. Cephalic feeding biomechanics of Basilosaurus isis are thus consistent with habitual predation. PMID:25714832

  8. The whale barnacle Cryptolepas rhachianecti (Cirripedia: Coronulidae), a phoront of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae), from a sandy beach in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Bosselaers, Mark; Collareta, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    An isolated compartment of a whale barnacle is herein described from Recent beach deposits in Zoutelande (Walcheren, The Netherlands). This specimen is identified as belonging to the extant coronulid species Cryptolepas rhachianecti, currently known as an epizoic symbiont of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus. This find represents the first occurrence of C. rhachianecti outside the North Pacific, and the first one as a (sub)fossil. In view of the fact that E. robustus, which is currently confined to the North Pacific, is known as a subfossil from the northeastern Atlantic between late Late Pleistocene (c. 45,000 years ago) and historical (c. 1700 AD) times, we propose a similar (late Quaternary) age for the isolated compartment. The find indicates that the extinct late Quaternary northeastern Atlantic population of E. robustus was infected by Cryptolepas rhachianecti. Our find is, therefore, compatible with the hypothesis of an ancient grey whale migration route running between the subtropical/temperate waters of the northeast Atlantic (or Mediterranean Basin), and the cold waters of the Baltic Sea (or southern Arctic Ocean), through the southern North Sea. Finally, we discuss the systematic placement of the fossil barnacle species Cryptolepas murata and propose the possibility of its removal from the genus Cryptolepas pending further investigations. PMID:27615844

  9. Albicetus oxymycterus, a New Generic Name and Redescription of a Basal Physeteroid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Miocene of California, and the Evolution of Body Size in Sperm Whales.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Alexandra T; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2015-01-01

    Living sperm whales are represented by only three species (Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps and Kogia sima), but their fossil record provides evidence of an ecologically diverse array of different forms, including morphologies and body sizes without analog among living physeteroids. Here we provide a redescription of Ontocetus oxymycterus, a large but incomplete fossil sperm whale specimen from the middle Miocene Monterey Formation of California, described by Remington Kellogg in 1925. The type specimen consists of a partial rostrum, both mandibles, an isolated upper rostrum fragment, and incomplete tooth fragments. Although incomplete, these remains exhibit characteristics that, when combined, set it apart morphologically from all other known physeteroids (e.g., a closed mesorostral groove, and the retention of enameled tooth crowns). Kellogg originally placed this species in the genus Ontocetus, a enigmatic tooth taxon reported from the 19th century, based on similarities between the type specimen Ontocetus emmonsi and the conspicuously large lower dentition of Ontocetus oxymycterus. However, the type of the genus Ontocetus is now known to represent a walrus tusk (belonging to fossil Odobenidae) instead of a cetacean tooth. Thus, we assign this species to the new genus Albicetus, creating the new combination of Albicetus oxymycterus, gen. nov. We provide new morphological observations of the type specimen, including a 3D model. We also calculate a total length of approximately 6 m in life, using cranial proxies of body size for physeteroids. Lastly, a phylogenetic analysis of Albicetus oxymycterus with other fossil and living Physeteroidea resolves its position as a stem physeteroid, implying that large body size and robust dentition in physeteroids evolved multiple times and in distantly related lineages. PMID:26651027

  10. Albicetus oxymycterus, a New Generic Name and Redescription of a Basal Physeteroid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Miocene of California, and the Evolution of Body Size in Sperm Whales

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Living sperm whales are represented by only three species (Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps and Kogia sima), but their fossil record provides evidence of an ecologically diverse array of different forms, including morphologies and body sizes without analog among living physeteroids. Here we provide a redescription of Ontocetus oxymycterus, a large but incomplete fossil sperm whale specimen from the middle Miocene Monterey Formation of California, described by Remington Kellogg in 1925. The type specimen consists of a partial rostrum, both mandibles, an isolated upper rostrum fragment, and incomplete tooth fragments. Although incomplete, these remains exhibit characteristics that, when combined, set it apart morphologically from all other known physeteroids (e.g., a closed mesorostral groove, and the retention of enameled tooth crowns). Kellogg originally placed this species in the genus Ontocetus, a enigmatic tooth taxon reported from the 19th century, based on similarities between the type specimen Ontocetus emmonsi and the conspicuously large lower dentition of Ontocetus oxymycterus. However, the type of the genus Ontocetus is now known to represent a walrus tusk (belonging to fossil Odobenidae) instead of a cetacean tooth. Thus, we assign this species to the new genus Albicetus, creating the new combination of Albicetus oxymycterus, gen. nov. We provide new morphological observations of the type specimen, including a 3D model. We also calculate a total length of approximately 6 m in life, using cranial proxies of body size for physeteroids. Lastly, a phylogenetic analysis of Albicetus oxymycterus with other fossil and living Physeteroidea resolves its position as a stem physeteroid, implying that large body size and robust dentition in physeteroids evolved multiple times and in distantly related lineages. PMID:26651027

  11. Anatomy, feeding ecology, and ontogeny of a transitional baleen whale: a new genus and species of Eomysticetidae (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The Eocene history of cetacean evolution is now represented by the expansive fossil record of archaeocetes elucidating major morphofunctional shifts relating to the land to sea transition, but the change from archaeocetes to modern cetaceans is poorly established. New fossil material of the recently recognized family Eomysticetidae from the upper Oligocene Otekaike Limestone includes a new genus and species, Waharoa ruwhenua, represented by skulls and partial skeletons of an adult, juvenile, and a smaller juvenile. Ontogenetic status is confirmed by osteohistology of ribs. Waharoa ruwhenua is characterized by an elongate and narrow rostrum which retains vestigial alveoli and alveolar grooves. Palatal foramina and sulci are present only on the posterior half of the palate. The nasals are elongate, and the bony nares are positioned far anteriorly. Enormous temporal fossae are present adjacent to an elongate and narrow intertemporal region with a sharp sagittal crest. The earbones are characterized by retaining inner and outer posterior pedicles, lacking fused posterior processes, and retaining a separate accessory ossicle. Phylogenetic analysis supports inclusion of Waharoa ruwhenua within a monophyletic Eomysticetidae as the earliest diverging clade of toothless mysticetes. This eomysticetid clade also included Eomysticetus whitmorei, Micromysticetus rothauseni, Tohoraata raekohao, Tokarahia kauaeroa, Tokarahia lophocephalus, and Yamatocetus canaliculatus. Detailed study of ontogenetic change demonstrates postnatal elaboration of the sagittal and nuchal crests, elongation of the intertemporal region, inflation of the zygomatic processes, and an extreme proportional increase in rostral length. Tympanic bullae are nearly full sized during early postnatal ontogeny indicating precocial development of auditory structures, but do increase slightly in size. Positive allometry of the rostrum suggests an ontogenetic change in feeding ecology, from neonatal suckling to a more specialized adult feeding behaviour. Possible absence of baleen anteriorly, a delicate temporomandibular joint with probable synovial capsule, non-laterally deflected coronoid process, and anteroposteriorly expanded palate suggests skim feeding as likely mode of adult feeding for zooplankton. Isotopic data in concert with preservation of young juveniles suggests the continental shelf of Zealandia was an important calving ground for latitudinally migrating Oligocene baleen whales. PMID:26380800

  12. Anatomy, feeding ecology, and ontogeny of a transitional baleen whale: a new genus and species of Eomysticetidae (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Boessenecker, Robert W; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The Eocene history of cetacean evolution is now represented by the expansive fossil record of archaeocetes elucidating major morphofunctional shifts relating to the land to sea transition, but the change from archaeocetes to modern cetaceans is poorly established. New fossil material of the recently recognized family Eomysticetidae from the upper Oligocene Otekaike Limestone includes a new genus and species, Waharoa ruwhenua, represented by skulls and partial skeletons of an adult, juvenile, and a smaller juvenile. Ontogenetic status is confirmed by osteohistology of ribs. Waharoa ruwhenua is characterized by an elongate and narrow rostrum which retains vestigial alveoli and alveolar grooves. Palatal foramina and sulci are present only on the posterior half of the palate. The nasals are elongate, and the bony nares are positioned far anteriorly. Enormous temporal fossae are present adjacent to an elongate and narrow intertemporal region with a sharp sagittal crest. The earbones are characterized by retaining inner and outer posterior pedicles, lacking fused posterior processes, and retaining a separate accessory ossicle. Phylogenetic analysis supports inclusion of Waharoa ruwhenua within a monophyletic Eomysticetidae as the earliest diverging clade of toothless mysticetes. This eomysticetid clade also included Eomysticetus whitmorei, Micromysticetus rothauseni, Tohoraata raekohao, Tokarahia kauaeroa, Tokarahia lophocephalus, and Yamatocetus canaliculatus. Detailed study of ontogenetic change demonstrates postnatal elaboration of the sagittal and nuchal crests, elongation of the intertemporal region, inflation of the zygomatic processes, and an extreme proportional increase in rostral length. Tympanic bullae are nearly full sized during early postnatal ontogeny indicating precocial development of auditory structures, but do increase slightly in size. Positive allometry of the rostrum suggests an ontogenetic change in feeding ecology, from neonatal suckling to a more specialized adult feeding behaviour. Possible absence of baleen anteriorly, a delicate temporomandibular joint with probable synovial capsule, non-laterally deflected coronoid process, and anteroposteriorly expanded palate suggests skim feeding as likely mode of adult feeding for zooplankton. Isotopic data in concert with preservation of young juveniles suggests the continental shelf of Zealandia was an important calving ground for latitudinally migrating Oligocene baleen whales. PMID:26380800

  13. Vascularization of the gray whale palate (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtius robustus): soft tissue evidence for an alveolar source of blood to baleen.

    PubMed

    Ekdale, Eric G; Deméré, Thomas A; Berta, Annalisa

    2015-04-01

    The origin of baleen in mysticetes heralded a major transition during cetacean evolution. Extant mysticetes are edentulous in adulthood, but rudimentary teeth develop in utero within open maxillary and mandibular alveolar grooves. The teeth are resorbed prenatally and the alveolar grooves close as baleen germ develops. Arteries supplying blood to highly vascularized epithelial tissue from which baleen develops pass through lateral nutrient foramina in the area of the embryonic alveolar grooves and rudimentary teeth. Those vessels are hypothesized to be branches of the superior alveolar artery, but branches of the greater palatine arteries may play a role in the baleen vascularization. Through a combination of latex injection, CT, and traditional dissection of the palate of a neonatal gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), we confirm that the baleen receives blood from vessels within the superior alveolar canal via the lateral foramina. The greater palatine artery is restricted to its own passage with no connections to the baleen. This study has implications for the presence of baleen in extinct taxa by identifying the vessels and bony canals that supply blood to the epithelium from which baleen develops. The results indicate that the lateral foramina in edentulous mysticete fossils are bony correlates for the presence of baleen, and the results can be used to help identify bony canals and foramina that have been used to reconstruct baleen in extinct mysticetes that retained teeth in adulthood. Further comparisons are made with mammals that also possess oral keratin structures, including ruminants, ornithorhynchid monotremes, and sirenians. PMID:25663479

  14. [Distribution and environmental conditions related to the behavior in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Cubero-Pardo, Priscilla

    2007-06-01

    Habitat characteristics influencing behavior in animal species vary locally. The influence that a particular environmental characteristic can have on a species depends not only on other variables, but on morphological, physiological and social conditions of that species. In this study, developed from June 1996 to July 1997, I studied whether specific behaviors are related to particular distribution areas and environmental factors in the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). The study area was covered along oblicuous linear transects, and the behavior of single groups was observed from 15 min to 5 h. Environmental factors such as depth, temperature, salinity and distance from shore, among others, were considered. For the bottlenose dolphin, foraging/feeding activities showed exclusive coincidence with river mouths, coral reef and mangrove areas, while social and milling activities where seen close to feeding areas. Traveling occurred along different points parallel to the coast, with a low percentage of cases across the gulf (16.56 %), suggesting that the bottlenose rarely crosses from one side to the other. In the spotted dolphin, several behaviors were observed simultaneously in the schools and it was not possible to associate areas with particular behaviors. The lack of significant relationships among activities and particular environmental variables (ANOVA tests) is attributed to three aspects: (a) transitions among activities generally occurred into a low variable area, (b) dolphins often traveled along large areas without changing activities and (c) environmental conditions in Golfo Dulce are homogeneous. In the two species the highest average in the number of individuals per group corresponded to the category of active socializing, followed by traveling, passive socializing and feeding. In the case of the bottlenose dolphin, the smallest group size was associated with feeding activities (ANOVA, F= 2.624, p=0.037, n=156, df=4), while in the spotted dolphin the smallest group size corresponded to milling activities (ANOVA, F=3.817, p=0.009, n=51, df=4). PMID:19069765

  15. Behaviour of Sotalia guianensis (van Bénéden, 1864) (Cetacea, Delphinidae) and ethnoecological knowledge of artisanal fishermen from Canavieiras, Bahia, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Artisanal fishermen, because of their direct and frequent contact with the aquatic environment, possess a wealth of knowledge about the natural history of the fauna of the region in which they live. This knowledge, both practical and theoretical, has been frequently utilized and integrated into academic research. Taking this into consideration, this study discusses the ethnoecological knowledge of artisanal fishermen from a community in Canavieiras, state of Bahia, Brazil regarding the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), a typically costal member of the family Delphinidae that is little studied in this region. To this end, the behaviour of S. guianensis in Canavieiras was recorded over one year and the data obtained were compared with fishermen’s reports. A total of 609 hours of behavioural observations of S. guianensis was conducted from a fixed point in alternate morning and afternoon sessions between October 2009 and September 2010. Observations were conducted from a pier (15°40’59”S and 38°56’38”W) situated on the banks of the Pardo River estuary - the region’s main river - at 5.5 m above water level. For ethnoecological data collection, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 26 fishermen in May, June and September 2010 and January 2011 in the fishing community of Atalaia. Occasional boat expeditions were made with the fishermen to compare their reports with direct observations of the behaviour of S. guianensis. The results demonstrate that fishermen possess a body of knowledge about S. guianensis that describes in detail the main behavioural aspects of the species. They reported the presence of S. guianensis in the Pardo River estuary throughout the year and its gregarious behaviour. They cited a relationship between the movement of dolphins and tidal cycles, and their presence in the estuary associated with the search for food. In addition, the fishermen reported that numbers of infants in groups were proportional to group size. Behaviours described were compatible with the observations made in situ and with data found in the scientific literature, confirming the importance of traditional knowledge in complementing scientific data. One behaviour mentioned by the fishermen that had no equivalence in the scientific literature was confirmed in situ and, therefore, constitutes the first record for this species. PMID:22584063

  16. 50 CFR 18.2 - Scope of regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... with respect to cetacea (whales and porpoises), pinnipedia, other than walrus (seals and sea lions), see 50 CFR part 216. (b) The provisions in this part are in addition to, and are not in lieu of,...

  17. 50 CFR 18.2 - Scope of regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... with respect to cetacea (whales and porpoises), pinnipedia, other than walrus (seals and sea lions), see 50 CFR part 216. (b) The provisions in this part are in addition to, and are not in lieu of,...

  18. 50 CFR 18.2 - Scope of regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... with respect to cetacea (whales and porpoises), pinnipedia, other than walrus (seals and sea lions), see 50 CFR part 216. (b) The provisions in this part are in addition to, and are not in lieu of,...

  19. 50 CFR 18.2 - Scope of regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... with respect to cetacea (whales and porpoises), pinnipedia, other than walrus (seals and sea lions), see 50 CFR part 216. (b) The provisions in this part are in addition to, and are not in lieu of,...

  20. 50 CFR 18.2 - Scope of regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... with respect to cetacea (whales and porpoises), pinnipedia, other than walrus (seals and sea lions), see 50 CFR part 216. (b) The provisions in this part are in addition to, and are not in lieu of,...

  1. A List of the Marine Mammals of the World. Third Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Dale W.

    This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publication lists 116 species of living and recently extinct marine mammals of the world. Included are 36 species of Order Carnivora (polar bear, sea otter, and 34 pinnipeds); 5 species of Order Sirenia; 10 of Order Mysticeti (baleen whales); and 65 species of Order Odontoceti (tooth whales).…

  2. Mitogenomic phylogenetic analyses of the Delphinidae with an emphasis on the Globicephalinae

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Previous DNA-based phylogenetic studies of the Delphinidae family suggest it has undergone rapid diversification, as characterised by unresolved and poorly supported taxonomic relationships (polytomies) for some of the species within this group. Using an increased amount of sequence data we test between alternative hypotheses of soft polytomies caused by rapid speciation, slow evolutionary rate and/or insufficient sequence data, and hard polytomies caused by simultaneous speciation within this family. Combining the mitogenome sequences of five new and 12 previously published species within the Delphinidae, we used Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods to estimate the phylogeny from partitioned and unpartitioned mitogenome sequences. Further ad hoc tests were then conducted to estimate the support for alternative topologies. Results We found high support for all the relationships within our reconstructed phylogenies, and topologies were consistent between the Bayesian and maximum-likelihood trees inferred from partitioned and unpartitioned data. Resolved relationships included the placement of the killer whale (Orcinus orca) as sister taxon to the rest of the Globicephalinae subfamily, placement of the Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) within the Globicephalinae subfamily, removal of the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from the Delphininae subfamily and the placement of the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) as sister taxon to the rest of the Delphininae subfamily rather than within the Globicephalinae subfamily. The additional testing of alternative topologies allowed us to reject all other putative relationships, with the exception that we were unable to reject the hypothesis that the relationship between L. albirostris and the Globicephalinae and Delphininae subfamilies was polytomic. Conclusion Despite their rapid diversification, the increased sequence data yielded by mitogenomes enables the resolution of a strongly

  3. Predicting cetacean habitats from their energetic needs and the distribution of their prey in two contrasted tropical regions.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Charlotte; Mannocci, Laura; Lehodey, Patrick; Ridoux, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    To date, most habitat models of cetaceans have relied on static and oceanographic covariates, and very few have related cetaceans directly to the distribution of their prey, as a result of the limited availability of prey data. By simulating the distribution of six functional micronekton groups between the surface and ≃1,000 m deep, the SEAPODYM model provides valuable insights into prey distributions. We used SEAPODYM outputs to investigate the habitat of three cetacean guilds with increasing energy requirements: sperm and beaked whales, Globicephalinae and Delphininae. We expected High Energy Requirements cetaceans to preferentially forage in habitats of high prey biomass and/or production, where they might easily meet their high energetic needs, and Low Energy Requirements cetaceans to forage in habitats of either high or low prey biomass and/or production. Cetacean sightings were collected from dedicated aerial surveys in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) and French Polynesia (FP). We examined cetacean densities in relation to simulated distributions of their potential prey using Generalised Additive Models and predicted their habitats in both regions. Results supported their known diving abilities, with Delphininae mostly related to prey present in the upper layers of the water column, and Globicephalinae and sperm and beaked whales also related to prey present in deeper layers. Explained deviances ranged from 9% for sperm and beaked whales in the SWIO to 47% for Globicephalinae in FP. Delphininae and Globicephalinae appeared to select areas where high prey biomass and/or production were available at shallow depths. In contrast, sperm and beaked whales showed less clear habitat selection. Using simulated prey distributions as predictors in cetacean habitat models is crucial to understand their strategies of habitat selection in the three dimensions of the ocean. PMID:25162643

  4. Predicting Cetacean Habitats from Their Energetic Needs and the Distribution of Their Prey in Two Contrasted Tropical Regions

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Charlotte; Mannocci, Laura; Lehodey, Patrick; Ridoux, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    To date, most habitat models of cetaceans have relied on static and oceanographic covariates, and very few have related cetaceans directly to the distribution of their prey, as a result of the limited availability of prey data. By simulating the distribution of six functional micronekton groups between the surface and ≃1,000 m deep, the SEAPODYM model provides valuable insights into prey distributions. We used SEAPODYM outputs to investigate the habitat of three cetacean guilds with increasing energy requirements: sperm and beaked whales, Globicephalinae and Delphininae. We expected High Energy Requirements cetaceans to preferentially forage in habitats of high prey biomass and/or production, where they might easily meet their high energetic needs, and Low Energy Requirements cetaceans to forage in habitats of either high or low prey biomass and/or production. Cetacean sightings were collected from dedicated aerial surveys in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) and French Polynesia (FP). We examined cetacean densities in relation to simulated distributions of their potential prey using Generalised Additive Models and predicted their habitats in both regions. Results supported their known diving abilities, with Delphininae mostly related to prey present in the upper layers of the water column, and Globicephalinae and sperm and beaked whales also related to prey present in deeper layers. Explained deviances ranged from 9% for sperm and beaked whales in the SWIO to 47% for Globicephalinae in FP. Delphininae and Globicephalinae appeared to select areas where high prey biomass and/or production were available at shallow depths. In contrast, sperm and beaked whales showed less clear habitat selection. Using simulated prey distributions as predictors in cetacean habitat models is crucial to understand their strategies of habitat selection in the three dimensions of the ocean. PMID:25162643

  5. Hippopotamus and whale phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Jonathan H; Theodor, Jessica M

    2009-03-19

    Thewissen et al. describe new fossils from India that apparently support a phylogeny that places Cetacea (that is, whales, dolphins, porpoises) as the sister group to the extinct family Raoellidae, and Hippopotamidae as more closely related to pigs and peccaries (that is, Suina) than to cetaceans. However, our reanalysis of a modified version of the data set they used differs in retaining molecular characters and demonstrates that Hippopotamidae is the closest extant family to Cetacea and that raoellids are the closest extinct group, consistent with previous phylogenetic studies. This topology supports the view that the aquatic adaptations in hippopotamids and cetaceans are inherited from their common ancestor. PMID:19295550

  6. Toward the resolution of an explosive radiation--a multilocus phylogeny of oceanic dolphins (Delphinidae).

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R

    2011-09-01

    Oceanic dolphins (Delphinidae) are the product of a rapid radiation that yielded ∼36 extant species of small to medium-sized cetaceans that first emerged in the Late Miocene. Although they are a charismatic group of organisms that have become poster children for marine conservation, many phylogenetic relationships within Delphinidae remain elusive due to the slow molecular evolution of the group and the difficulty of resolving short branches from successive cladogenic events. Here I combine existing and newly generated sequences from four mitochondrial (mt) genes and 20 nuclear (nu) genes to reconstruct a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis for Delphinidae. This study compares maximum-likelihood and Bayesian inference methods of several data sets including mtDNA, combined nuDNA, gene trees of individual nuDNA loci, and concatenated mtDNA+nuDNA. In addition, I contrast these standard phylogenetic analyses with the species tree reconstruction method of Bayesian concordance analysis (BCA). Despite finding discordance between mtDNA and individual nuDNA loci, the concatenated matrix recovers a completely resolved and robustly supported phylogeny that is also broadly congruent with BCA trees. This study strongly supports groupings such as Delphininae, Lissodelphininae, Globicephalinae, Sotalia+Delphininae, Steno+Orcaella+Globicephalinae, and Leucopleurus acutus, Lagenorhynchus albirostris, and Orcinus orca as basal delphinid taxa. PMID:21600295

  7. The Marine Mammal Brain Game: Students Compare the Brains and Behaviors of Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Manatees in This Unique Standards-Based Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demetrikopoulos, Melissa K.; Morris, Lee G.; Fobbs, Archibald J., Jr.; Johnson, John I.

    2005-01-01

    Dolphins, manatees, and sea lions are all aquatic mammals but are not closely related taxonomically. All three species are marine mammals, meaning they spend part or all of their lives in the sea and contiguous bodies of water. Dolphins belong to the taxonomic order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Manatees (sea cows),…

  8. Mystery #22 Answer

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-22

    ... to reduce the severity and duration of the annual flooding.   D.   An animal belonging to the order Cetacea can be found ... can not be said to have reduced the severity and duration of flooding, and embankment breaches have occurred in many years including 1968, ...

  9. PATHOBIOLOGY OF SELECTED MARINE MAMMAL DISEASES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine mammals are the subset of true mammals that have evolved unique characteristics for survival in an aquatic environment. he five major groups of marine mammals, cetacea, pinnipeds, mustelids, sirenia, and ursids, did not descend from a common phylogenetic line, and therefor...

  10. Acoustic characteristics of biosonar sounds of free-ranging botos (Inia geoffrensis) and tucuxis (Sotalia fluviatilis) in the Negro River, Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Yukiko; Akamatsu, Tomonari; da Silva, Vera M F; Yoshida, Yayoi; Kohshima, Shiro

    2015-08-01

    Odontoceti emit broadband high-frequency clicks on echolocation for orientation or prey detection. In the Amazon Basin, two odontoceti species, boto (Amazon River dolphin, Inia geoffrensis) and tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis), live sympatrically. The acoustic characteristics of the echolocation clicks of free-ranging botos and tucuxis were measured with a hydrophone array consisting of a full-band and an acoustic event recorder (A-tag). The clicks of the two species were short-duration broadband signals. The apparent source level was 201 dB 1 μPa peak-to-peak at 1 m in the botos and 181 dB 1 μPa peak-to-peak at 1 m in the tucuxis, and the centroid frequency was 82.3 kHz in the botos and 93.1 kHz in the tucuxis. The high apparent source level and low centroid frequency are possibly due to the difference in body size or sound production organs, especially the nasal structure, the sound source of clicks in odontoceti. PMID:26328686

  11. Phylogenetic Status and Timescale for the Diversification of Steno and Sotalia Dolphins

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Haydée A.; Moraes, Lucas C.; Medeiros, Bruna V.; Lailson-Brito, José; da Silva, Vera M. F.; Solé-Cava, Antonio M.; Schrago, Carlos G.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular data have provided many insights into cetacean evolution but some unsettled issues still remain. We estimated the topology and timing of cetacean evolutionary relationships using Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses of complete mitochondrial genomes. In order to clarify the phylogenetic placement of Sotalia and Steno within the Delphinidae, we sequenced three new delphinid mitogenomes. Our analyses support three delphinid clades: one joining Steno and Sotalia (supporting the revised subfamily Stenoninae); another placing Sousa within the Delphininae; and a third, the Globicephalinae, which includes Globicephala, Feresa, Pseudorca, Peponocephala and Grampus. We also conclude that Orcinus does not belong in the Globicephalinae, but Orcaella may be part of that subfamily. Divergence dates were estimated using the relaxed molecular clock calibrated with fossil data. We hypothesise that the timing of separation of the marine and Amazonian Sotalia species (2.3 Ma) coincided with the establishment of the modern Amazon River basin. PMID:22163290

  12. Spondylitic changes in long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) stranded on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, between 1982 and 2000.

    PubMed

    Sweeny, Melinda M; Price, Janet M; Jones, Gwilym S; French, Thomas W; Early, Greg A; Moore, Michael J

    2005-10-01

    The primary bone pathology diagnoses recognized in cetacea are osteomyelitis and spondylosis deformans. In this study, we determined the prevalence, type, and severity of vertebral pathology in 52 pilot whales, a mass stranding species that stranded on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, between 1982 and 2000. Eleven whales (21%) had hyperostosis and ossification of tendon insertion points on and between vertebrae, chevron bones, and costovertebral joints, with multiple fused blocks of vertebrae. These lesions are typical of a group of interrelated diseases described in humans as spondyloarthropathies, specifically ankylosing spondylitis, which has not been fully described in cetacea. In severe cases, ankylosing spondylitis in humans can inhibit mobility. If the lesions described here negatively affect the overall health of the whale, these lesions may be a contributing factor in stranding of this highly sociable species. PMID:16456160

  13. Predicting cetacean and seabird habitats across a productivity gradient in the South Pacific gyre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannocci, Laura; Catalogna, Maxime; Dorémus, Ghislain; Laran, Sophie; Lehodey, Patrick; Massart, Wendy; Monestiez, Pascal; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Watremez, Pierre; Ridoux, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Oligotrophic regions are expected to host low densities of top predators. Nevertheless, top predators with contrasting energetic costs might respond differently to the productivity of their habitats. Predators with high energetic demands might be constrained to select the most productive habitats to meet their high energetic requirements, whereas less active predators would be able to satisfy their needs by exploiting either high or low productivity habitats. Although situated in the core of the South Pacific oligotrophic gyre, French Polynesia is characterized by a fairly marked productivity gradient from the extremely oligotrophic Australs area to the more productive Marquesas area. The aim of this study was to investigate cetacean and seabird habitats in French Polynesia in light of their general energetic constraints. We collected cetacean and seabird sightings from an aerial survey across French Polynesian waters during the austral summer 2011. We classified cetaceans and seabirds into energetic guilds according to the literature. For each guild, we built generalized additive models along with static covariates and oceanographic covariates at the seasonal and climatological resolutions. We provided regional habitat predictions for Delphininae, Globicephalinae, sperm and beaked whales, tropicbirds, grey terns, noddies, white terns, boobies, petrels and shearwaters, sooty terns and frigatebirds. Explained deviances ranged from 5% to 30% for cetaceans and from 14% to 29% for seabirds. Cetaceans clearly responded to the productivity gradient, with the highest predicted densities around the productive waters of the Marquesas. However, Delphininae and Globicephalinae, characterized by higher energetic demands, depended more strongly on productivity, showing a ratio of 1-26 and 1-31 between their lowest and highest density areas respectively, compared to the less active sperm and beaked whales (showing only a ratio of 1-3.5 in predicted densities). In contrast

  14. Back to Water: Signature of Adaptive Evolution in Cetacean Mitochondrial tRNAs.

    PubMed

    Montelli, Stefano; Peruffo, Antonella; Patarnello, Tomaso; Cozzi, Bruno; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrion is the power plant of the eukaryotic cell, and tRNAs are the fundamental components of its translational machinery. In the present paper, the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was investigated in the Cetacea, a clade of Cetartiodactyla that retuned to water and thus had to adapt its metabolism to a different medium than that of its mainland ancestors. Our analysis focussed on identifying the factors that influenced the evolution of Cetacea tRNA double-helix elements, which play a pivotal role in the formation of the secondary and tertiary structures of each tRNA and consequently manipulate the whole translation machinery of the mitochondrion. Our analyses showed that the substitution pathways in the stems of different tRNAs were influenced by various factors, determining a molecular evolution that was unique to each of the 22 tRNAs. Our data suggested that the composition, AT-skew, and GC-skew of the tRNA stems were the main factors influencing the substitution process. In particular, the range of variation and the fluctuation of these parameters affected the fate of single tRNAs. Strong heterogeneity was observed among the different species of Cetacea. Finally, it appears that the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was also shaped by the environments in which the Cetacean taxa differentiated. This latter effect was particularly evident in toothed whales that either live in freshwater or are deep divers. PMID:27336480

  15. Back to Water: Signature of Adaptive Evolution in Cetacean Mitochondrial tRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Patarnello, Tomaso; Cozzi, Bruno; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrion is the power plant of the eukaryotic cell, and tRNAs are the fundamental components of its translational machinery. In the present paper, the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was investigated in the Cetacea, a clade of Cetartiodactyla that retuned to water and thus had to adapt its metabolism to a different medium than that of its mainland ancestors. Our analysis focussed on identifying the factors that influenced the evolution of Cetacea tRNA double-helix elements, which play a pivotal role in the formation of the secondary and tertiary structures of each tRNA and consequently manipulate the whole translation machinery of the mitochondrion. Our analyses showed that the substitution pathways in the stems of different tRNAs were influenced by various factors, determining a molecular evolution that was unique to each of the 22 tRNAs. Our data suggested that the composition, AT-skew, and GC-skew of the tRNA stems were the main factors influencing the substitution process. In particular, the range of variation and the fluctuation of these parameters affected the fate of single tRNAs. Strong heterogeneity was observed among the different species of Cetacea. Finally, it appears that the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was also shaped by the environments in which the Cetacean taxa differentiated. This latter effect was particularly evident in toothed whales that either live in freshwater or are deep divers. PMID:27336480

  16. Mx1 and Mx2 key antiviral proteins are surprisingly lost in toothed whales

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Benjamin A.; Marcovitz, Amir; Camp, J. Gray; Jia, Robin; Bejerano, Gill

    2015-01-01

    Viral outbreaks in dolphins and other Delphinoidea family members warrant investigation into the integrity of the cetacean immune system. The dynamin-like GTPase genes Myxovirus 1 (Mx1) and Mx2 defend mammals against a broad range of viral infections. Loss of Mx1 function in human and mice enhances infectivity by multiple RNA and DNA viruses, including orthomyxoviruses (influenza A), paramyxoviruses (measles), and hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B), whereas loss of Mx2 function leads to decreased resistance to HIV-1 and other viruses. Here we show that both Mx1 and Mx2 have been rendered nonfunctional in Odontoceti cetaceans (toothed whales, including dolphins and orcas). We discovered multiple exon deletions, frameshift mutations, premature stop codons, and transcriptional evidence of decay in the coding sequence of both Mx1 and Mx2 in four species of Odontocetes. We trace the likely loss event for both proteins to soon after the divergence of Odontocetes and Mystocetes (baleen whales) ∼33–37 Mya. Our data raise intriguing questions as to what drove the loss of both Mx1 and Mx2 genes in the Odontoceti lineage, a double loss seen in none of 56 other mammalian genomes, and suggests a hitherto unappreciated fundamental genetic difference in the way these magnificent mammals respond to viral infections. PMID:26080416

  17. Mx1 and Mx2 key antiviral proteins are surprisingly lost in toothed whales.

    PubMed

    Braun, Benjamin A; Marcovitz, Amir; Camp, J Gray; Jia, Robin; Bejerano, Gill

    2015-06-30

    Viral outbreaks in dolphins and other Delphinoidea family members warrant investigation into the integrity of the cetacean immune system. The dynamin-like GTPase genes Myxovirus 1 (Mx1) and Mx2 defend mammals against a broad range of viral infections. Loss of Mx1 function in human and mice enhances infectivity by multiple RNA and DNA viruses, including orthomyxoviruses (influenza A), paramyxoviruses (measles), and hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B), whereas loss of Mx2 function leads to decreased resistance to HIV-1 and other viruses. Here we show that both Mx1 and Mx2 have been rendered nonfunctional in Odontoceti cetaceans (toothed whales, including dolphins and orcas). We discovered multiple exon deletions, frameshift mutations, premature stop codons, and transcriptional evidence of decay in the coding sequence of both Mx1 and Mx2 in four species of Odontocetes. We trace the likely loss event for both proteins to soon after the divergence of Odontocetes and Mystocetes (baleen whales) ∼33-37 Mya. Our data raise intriguing questions as to what drove the loss of both Mx1 and Mx2 genes in the Odontoceti lineage, a double loss seen in none of 56 other mammalian genomes, and suggests a hitherto unappreciated fundamental genetic difference in the way these magnificent mammals respond to viral infections. PMID:26080416

  18. Shape analysis of odontocete mandibles: functional and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Barroso, Celia; Cranford, Ted W; Berta, Annalisa

    2012-09-01

    Odontocete mandibles serve multiple functions, including feeding and hearing. We consider that these two major functions have their primary influence in different parts of the mandibles: the anterior feeding component and the posterior sound reception component, though these divisions are not mutually exclusive. One hypothesis is that sound enters the hearing apparatus via the pan bone of the posterior mandibles (Norris, Evolution and Environment,1968, pp 297-324). Another viewpoint, based on finite element models, suggests that sound enters primarily through the gular region and the opening created by the absent medial lamina of the posterior mandibles. This unambiguous link between form and function has catalyzed this study, which uses Geometric Morphometrics to quantify mandibular shape across all major lineages of Odontoceti. The majority of shape variation was found in the anterior (feeding) region: Jaw Flare (45.0%) and Symphysis Elongation (35.5%). Shape differences in the mandibular foramen, within the posterior (sound reception) region, also accounted for a small portion of the total variation (10.9%). The mandibles are an integral component of the sound reception apparatus in toothed whales and the geometry of the mandibular foramen likely plays a role in hearing. Furthermore, model goodness-of-fit tests indicate that mandibular foramina shapes, which appear conserved, evolved under a selective regime, possibly driven by sound reception requirements across Odontoceti. PMID:22806763

  19. Fossil Dolphin Otekaikea marplesi (Latest Oligocene, New Zealand) Expands the Morphological and Taxonomic Diversity of Oligocene Cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-01-01

    The Oligocene Epoch was a time of major radiation of the Odontoceti (echolocating toothed whales, dolphins). Fossils reveal many odontocete lineages and considerable structural diversity, but whether the clades include some crown taxa or only archaic groups is contentious. The New Zealand fossil dolphin “Prosqualodon” marplesi (latest Oligocene, ≥23.9 Ma) is here identified as a crown odontocete that represents a new genus, Otekaikea, and adds to the generic diversity of Oligocene odontocetes. Otekaikea marplesi is known only from the holotype, which comprises a partial skeleton from the marine Otekaike Limestone of the Waitaki Valley. Otekaikea marplesi was about 2.5 m long; it had procumbent anterior teeth, and a broad dished face for the nasofacial muscles implicated in production of echolocation sounds. The prominent condyles and unfused cervical vertebrae suggest a flexible neck. A phylogenetic analysis based on morphological features places Otekaikea marplesi in the extinct group Waipatiidae, within the clade Platanistoidea. The phylogeny implies an Oligocene origin for the lineage now represented by the endangered Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica), supporting an Oligocene history for the crown Odontoceti. PMID:25250733

  20. Fossil dolphin Otekaikea marplesi (latest Oligocene, New Zealand) expands the morphological and taxonomic diversity of Oligocene cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-01-01

    The Oligocene Epoch was a time of major radiation of the Odontoceti (echolocating toothed whales, dolphins). Fossils reveal many odontocete lineages and considerable structural diversity, but whether the clades include some crown taxa or only archaic groups is contentious. The New Zealand fossil dolphin "Prosqualodon" marplesi (latest Oligocene, ≥23.9 Ma) is here identified as a crown odontocete that represents a new genus, Otekaikea, and adds to the generic diversity of Oligocene odontocetes. Otekaikea marplesi is known only from the holotype, which comprises a partial skeleton from the marine Otekaike Limestone of the Waitaki Valley. Otekaikea marplesi was about 2.5 m long; it had procumbent anterior teeth, and a broad dished face for the nasofacial muscles implicated in production of echolocation sounds. The prominent condyles and unfused cervical vertebrae suggest a flexible neck. A phylogenetic analysis based on morphological features places Otekaikea marplesi in the extinct group Waipatiidae, within the clade Platanistoidea. The phylogeny implies an Oligocene origin for the lineage now represented by the endangered Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica), supporting an Oligocene history for the crown Odontoceti. PMID:25250733

  1. Mitochondrial genome of the Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis (Phocaenidae: Neophocaena).

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinyang; Chen, Ran; Li, Gang; Li, Jinhua

    2016-09-01

    Yangtze finless porpoise, Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis, is a cetacea animal which has been reclassified as a Critically Endangered species by IUCN in 2013. In this study, we determined the complete mitochondrial genome of N. a. asiaeorientalis for use in future phylogenetic analyses. The complete mitochondrial genome of N. a. asiaeorientalis (16,385 bp in length) contained 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 22 tRNA genes) and a non-coding region (D-loop). Additionally, a rep-origin (35 bp) exists which is located between tRNA(Asn) and tRNA(Cys). PMID:25703854

  2. A comparative study of the inner ear structures of artiodactyls and early cetaceans

    SciTech Connect

    Klingshirn, M.A.; Luo, Z.

    1994-12-31

    It has been suggested that the order Cetacea (whales and porpoises) are closely related to artiodactyls, even-hoofed ungulate mammals such as the pig and cow. Paleontological and molecular data strongly supports this concept of phylogenetic relationships. In a study of DNA sequences of two mitochondrial ribosomal gene segments of cetaceans, the artiodactyls were found to be closest related to Cetaceans. These well accepted studies on the phylogenetic affinities of artiodactyls and cetaceans cause us to conduct a comparative study of the bony structure of the inner ear of these two taxa.

  3. Ancestor–descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor–descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR—the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea–Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  4. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  5. Cetacean Acoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.; Lammers, Marc O.

    The mammalian order cetacea consist of dolphins and whales, animals that are found in all the oceans and seas of the world. A few species even inhabit fresh water lakes and rivers. A list of 80 species of cetaceans in a convenient table is presented by Ridgway [20.1]. These mammals vary considerably in size, from the largest living mammal, the large blue whale (balaenoptera musculus), to the very small harbor porpoise (phocoena phocoena) and Commerson's dolphin (cephalorhynchus commersonnii), which are typically slightly over a meter in length.

  6. Delphinid systematics and biogeography with a focus on the current genus Lagenorhynchus: multiple pathways for antitropical and trans-oceanic radiation.

    PubMed

    Banguera-Hinestroza, Eulalia; Hayano, Azusa; Crespo, Enrique; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-11-01

    The six species currently classified within the genus Lagenorhynchus exhibit a pattern of antitropical distribution common among marine taxa. In spite of their morphological similarities they are now considered an artificial grouping, and include both recent and the oldest representatives of the Delphinidae radiation. They are, therefore, a good model for studying questions about the evolutionary processes that have driven dolphin speciation, dispersion and distribution. Here we used two different approaches. First we constructed a multigenic phylogeny with a minimum amount of missing data (based on 9 genes, 11,030bp, using the 6 species of the genus and their closest relatives) to infer their relationships. Second, we built a supermatrix phylogeny (based on 33 species and 27 genes) to test the effect of taxon sampling on the phylogeny of the genus, to provide inference on biogeographic history, and provide inference on the main events shaping the dispersion and radiation of delphinids. Our analyses suggested an early evolutionary history of marine dolphins in the North Atlantic Ocean and revealed multiple pathways of migration and radiation, probably guided by paleoceanographic changes during the Miocene and Pliocene. L. acutus and L. albirostris likely shared a common ancestor that arose in the North Atlantic around the Middle Miocene, predating the radiation of subfamilies Delphininae, Globicephalinae and Lissodelphininae. PMID:25130419

  7. Morphologic characteristics of pulmonary macrophages in cetaceans: particular reference to pulmonary intravascular macrophages as a newly identified type.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, M; Kuwamura, M; Takeya, M; Yamate, J

    2004-11-01

    We examined the morphologic characteristics of pulmonary macrophages in 42 specimens of Odontoceti (Globicephala macrorhynchus, Grampus griseus, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella attenuata, Stenella coeruleoalba, Berardius bairdii), using light and electron microscopes as well as immunohistochemistry with SRA-E5. SRA-E5-positive alveolar macrophages and pulmonary interstitial macrophages contained graphitic soots, indicating the clearance of airborne, aspirated foreign bodies. Pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIMs), positive with SRA-E5, were present within pulmonary capillaries, attaching to applied endothelial cells by cell junctions. They showed cytoplasmic tubular structures of micropinocytosis vermiformis and erythrophagocytosis, indicating their contributory role in the clearance of blood-borne particles. The uptake of pathogens by PIMs may be associated with the inducement of acute lung injury, especially bacterial infectious pneumonia. This study revealed for the first time the presence of PIMs in cetaceans. PMID:15557077

  8. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    PubMed

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin. PMID:27072406

  9. [Mechanisms of sound reception and conduction in a dolphin].

    PubMed

    Riabov, V A

    2014-01-01

    Morphology of a lower jaw, model and behavioral experiments are discussed with the aim of exploring the mechanisms of sound reception and conduction to the dolphin's lower jaw canals taking into account known concepts of acoustics and a theory of group antennas. It is shown that the left and right row of mental foramens with the respective mandibular canal and tissues of the canals are forming the new outer ear and the new external auditory canal by which the sound (in frequency band of 0.1-160 kHz) is transmitted into the middle ear, in contrast to the dolphin's non-functional outer ear. This new external ear is created by nature as a receiving array of the traveling wave antenna located in the throat of the acoustical horn (a corresponding mandibular canal). The results give reason to assume the presence of similar new outer ear in Odontoceti. PMID:25715603

  10. Evolutionary affinities of the order Perissodactyla and the phylogenetic status of the superordinal taxa Ungulata and Altungulata.

    PubMed

    Graur, D; Gouy, M; Duret, L

    1997-04-01

    Contrary to morphological claims, molecular data indicate that the order Perissodactyla (e.g., horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs) is neither part of the superordinal taxon Paenungulata (Sirenia, Proboscidea, and Hyracoidea) nor an immediate outgroup of the paenungulates. Rather, Perissodactyla is closer to Carnivora and Cetartiodactyla (Cetacea+Artiodactyla) than it is to the paenungulates. Therefore, two morphologically defined superordinal taxa, Altungulata (Proboscidea, Sirenia, Hyracoidea, and Perissodactyla) and Ungulata (Altungulata and Cetartiodactyla), are invalidated. Perissodactyla, Carnivora, and Cetartiodactyla are shown to constitute a rather tight trichotomy. However, a molecular analysis of 36 protein sequences with a total concatenated length of 7885 aligned amino acids indicates that Perissodactyla is closer to Cetartiodactyla than either taxa is to Carnivora. The relationships among Paenungulata, Primates, and the clade consisting of Perissodactyla, Carnivora, and Cetartiodactylaa could not be resolved on the basis of the available data. PMID:9126561

  11. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-09-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  12. Chemical characterization of the oligosaccharides in Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) and Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis lesson) milk.

    PubMed

    Urashima, Tadasu; Kobayashi, Mami; Asakuma, Sadaki; Uemura, Yusuke; Arai, Ikichi; Fukuda, Kenji; Saito, Tadao; Mogoe, Toshihiro; Ishikawa, Hajime; Fukui, Yutaka

    2007-02-01

    Samples of milk from a Bryde's whale and a Sei whale contained 2.7 g/100 mL and 1.7 g/100 mL of hexose, respectively. Both contained lactose as the dominant saccharide along with small amounts of Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose), Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (6'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose) and Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (LST c). The dominance of lactose in the carbohydrate of these milks is similar to that of Minke whale milk and bottlenose dolphin colostrum, but the oligosaccharide patterns are different from those of these two species, illustrating the heterogeneity of milk oligosaccharides among the Cetacea. PMID:17113803

  13. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-08-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  14. Whale phylogeny and rapid radiation events revealed using novel retroposed elements and their flanking sequences

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A diversity of hypotheses have been proposed based on both morphological and molecular data to reveal phylogenetic relationships within the order Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales), and great progress has been made in the past two decades. However, there is still some controversy concerning relationships among certain cetacean taxa such as river dolphins and delphinoid species, which needs to be further addressed with more markers in an effort to address unresolved portions of the phylogeny. Results An analysis of additional SINE insertions and SINE-flanking sequences supported the monophyly of the order Cetacea as well as Odontocete, Delphinoidea (Delphinidae + Phocoenidae + Mondontidae), and Delphinidae. A sister relationship between Delphinidae and Phocoenidae + Mondontidae was supported, and members of classical river dolphins and the genera Tursiops and Stenella were found to be paraphyletic. Estimates of divergence times revealed rapid divergences of basal Odontocete lineages in the Oligocene and Early Miocene, and a recent rapid diversification of Delphinidae in the Middle-Late Miocene and Pliocene within a narrow time frame. Conclusions Several novel SINEs were found to differentiate Delphinidae from the other two families (Monodontidae and Phocoenidae), whereas the sister grouping of the latter two families with exclusion of Delphinidae was further revealed using the SINE-flanking sequences. Interestingly, some anomalous PCR amplification patterns of SINE insertions were detected, which can be explained as the result of potential ancestral SINE polymorphisms and incomplete lineage sorting. Although a few loci were potentially anomalous, this study demonstrated that the SINE-based approach is a powerful tool in phylogenetic studies. Identifying additional SINE elements that resolve the relationships in the superfamily Delphinoidea and family Delphinidae will be important steps forward in completely resolving cetacean phylogenetic

  15. Comparative Anatomy of the Bony Labyrinth (Inner Ear) of Placental Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Ekdale, Eric G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Variation is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is observable at all levels of morphology, from anatomical variations of DNA molecules to gross variations between whole organisms. The structure of the otic region is no exception. The present paper documents the broad morphological diversity exhibited by the inner ear region of placental mammals using digital endocasts constructed from high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT). Descriptions cover the major placental clades, and linear, angular, and volumetric dimensions are reported. Principal Findings The size of the labyrinth is correlated to the overall body mass of individuals, such that large bodied mammals have absolutely larger labyrinths. The ratio between the average arc radius of curvature of the three semicircular canals and body mass of aquatic species is substantially lower than the ratios of related terrestrial taxa, and the volume percentage of the vestibular apparatus of aquatic mammals tends to be less than that calculated for terrestrial species. Aspects of the bony labyrinth are phylogenetically informative, including vestibular reduction in Cetacea, a tall cochlear spiral in caviomorph rodents, a low position of the plane of the lateral semicircular canal compared to the posterior canal in Cetacea and Carnivora, and a low cochlear aspect ratio in Primatomorpha. Significance The morphological descriptions that are presented add a broad baseline of anatomy of the inner ear across many placental mammal clades, for many of which the structure of the bony labyrinth is largely unknown. The data included here complement the growing body of literature on the physiological and phylogenetic significance of bony labyrinth structures in mammals, and they serve as a source of data for future studies on the evolution and function of the vertebrate ear. PMID:23805251

  16. The Origin of High-Frequency Hearing in Whales.

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Martinez-Caceres, Manuel; de Muizon, Christian; Mnieckowski, Jessica; Geisler, Jonathan H

    2016-08-22

    Odontocetes (toothed whales) rely upon echoes of their own vocalizations to navigate and find prey underwater [1]. This sensory adaptation, known as echolocation, operates most effectively when using high frequencies, and odontocetes are rivaled only by bats in their ability to perceive ultrasonic sound greater than 100 kHz [2]. Although features indicative of ultrasonic hearing are present in the oldest known odontocetes [3], the significance of this finding is limited by the methods employed and taxa sampled. In this report, we describe a new xenorophid whale (Echovenator sandersi, gen. et sp. nov.) from the Oligocene of South Carolina that, as a member of the most basal clade of odontocetes, sheds considerable light on the evolution of ultrasonic hearing. By placing high-resolution CT data from Echovenator sandersi, 2 hippos, and 23 fossil and extant whales in a phylogenetic context, we conclude that ultrasonic hearing, albeit in a less specialized form, evolved at the base of the odontocete radiation. Contrary to the hypothesis that odontocetes evolved from low-frequency specialists [4], we find evidence that stem cetaceans, the archaeocetes, were more sensitive to high-frequency sound than their terrestrial ancestors. This indicates that selection for high-frequency hearing predates the emergence of Odontoceti and the evolution of echolocation. PMID:27498568

  17. Unique feeding morphology in a new prognathous extinct porpoise from the Pliocene of California.

    PubMed

    Racicot, Rachel A; Deméré, Thomas A; Beatty, Brian L; Boessenecker, Robert W

    2014-03-31

    Modern porpoises (Odontoceti: Phocoenidae) are some of the smallest cetaceans and usually feed near the seafloor on small fish and cephalopods [1-3]. Within both extinct and extant phocoenids, no evidence for specialized mandibular morphology has been documented [4-7]. Here we describe a new species of extinct porpoise, Semirostrum ceruttii, from the marine Pliocene San Diego (4.2-1.6 mega-annum, Ma) and Purisima (5-2.5 Ma) formations of California. The mandibles comprise a long, fused, and nearly edentulous prognathous symphysis, extending farther beyond the rostrum than in any known mammal. Phylogenetic analyses based on morphology reconstruct Semirostrum ceruttii as sister to extant (crown) porpoise species with moderate support. We describe the spectacularly preserved holotype specimen based on computed tomography (CT) scans, which allowed visualization of the elongate mental and accessory canals within the symphysis. The elongate canals are similar to those found in Rynchops birds [8] and were likely involved in sensory function. Oblique labial wear facets present on numerous small conical mandibular teeth posterior to the symphysis suggest regular contact with benthic substrate. The unique mandibular and dental characteristics, along with robust scapulae, sternum, and unfused cervical vertebrae, support the interpretation that this species employed a form of benthic skim feeding by using its mandible to probe for and obtain prey. PMID:24631245

  18. Positive selection at the ASPM gene coincides with brain size enlargements in cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shixia; Chen, Yuan; Cheng, Yuefeng; Yang, Dan; Zhou, Xuming; Xu, Junxiao; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2012-01-01

    The enlargement of cetacean brain size represents an enigmatic event in mammalian evolution, yet its genetic basis remains poorly explored. One candidate gene associated with brain size evolution is the abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated (ASPM), as mutations in this gene cause severe reductions in the cortical size of humans. Here, we investigated the ASPM gene in representative cetacean lineages and previously published sequences from other mammals to test whether the expansion of the cetacean brain matched adaptive ASPM evolution patterns. Our analyses yielded significant evidence of positive selection on the ASPM gene during cetacean evolution, especially for the Odontoceti and Delphinoidea lineages. These molecular patterns were associated with two major events of relative brain size enlargement in odontocetes and delphinoids. It is of particular interest to find that positive selection was restricted to cetaceans and primates, two distant lineages both characterized by a massive expansion of brain size. This result is suggestive of convergent molecular evolution, although no site-specific convergence at the amino acid level was found. PMID:22977148

  19. Intestinal volvulus in cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Begeman, L; St Leger, J A; Blyde, D J; Jauniaux, T P; Lair, S; Lovewell, G; Raverty, S; Seibel, H; Siebert, U; Staggs, S L; Martelli, P; Keesler, R I

    2013-07-01

    Intestinal volvulus was recognized as the cause of death in 18 cetaceans, including 8 species of toothed whales (suborder Odontoceti). Cases originated from 11 institutions from around the world and included both captive (n = 9) and free-ranging (n = 9) animals. When the clinical history was available (n = 9), animals consistently demonstrated acute dullness 1 to 5 days prior to death. In 3 of these animals (33%), there was a history of chronic gastrointestinal illness. The pathological findings were similar to those described in other animal species and humans, and consisted of intestinal volvulus and a well-demarcated segment of distended, congested, and edematous intestine with gas and bloody fluid contents. Associated lesions included congested and edematous mesentery and mesenteric lymph nodes, and often serofibrinous or hemorrhagic abdominal effusion. The volvulus involved the cranial part of the intestines in 85% (11 of 13). Potential predisposing causes were recognized in most cases (13 of 18, 72%) but were variable. Further studies investigating predisposing factors are necessary to help prevent occurrence and enhance early clinical diagnosis and management of the condition. PMID:23150643

  20. Ecology of Hawaiian marine mammals emphasizing the impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on endangered species

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.; Hartwig, E.O.

    1982-06-01

    Twenty-two marine mammal species including 2 baleen whales, 20 toothed whales, and one pinniped occur in Hawaiian waters. Among these are two endangered species, the migratory humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) around the main islands, and the non-migratory Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) in the extreme northwestern island chain. The endangered species are among those most commonly sighted, while spinner dolphins (Stenella spp.), bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops sp.), and false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are sighted less frequently. Most Hawaiian cetacean species are Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and feed on fish and squid. The Mysteceti or baleen whales feed on plankton, however the endangered humpback whale, which migrates to Hawaii to breed and calve, presumably does not feed there. The endangered monk seal feeds on cephalopods and fish. The impact of OTEC on endangered and non-endangered marine mammals results from several direct and indirect effects and is discussed in the text. Careful siting of OTEC plants away from humpback breeding areas and monk seal breeding and feeding areas will avoid adverse effects on these populations.

  1. Cranial asymmetry in Eocene archaeocete whales and the evolution of directional hearing in water

    PubMed Central

    Fahlke, Julia M.; Gingerich, Philip D.; Welsh, Robert C.; Wood, Aaron R.

    2011-01-01

    Eocene archaeocete whales gave rise to all modern toothed and baleen whales (Odontoceti and Mysticeti) during or near the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Odontocetes have asymmetrical skulls, with asymmetry linked to high-frequency sound production and echolocation. Mysticetes are generally assumed to have symmetrical skulls and lack high-frequency hearing. Here we show that protocetid and basilosaurid archaeocete skulls are distinctly and directionally asymmetrical. Archaeocete asymmetry involves curvature and axial torsion of the cranium, but no telescoping. Cranial asymmetry evolved in Eocene archaeocetes as part of a complex of traits linked to directional hearing (such as pan-bone thinning of the lower jaws, mandibular fat pads, and isolation of the ear region), probably enabling them to hear the higher sonic frequencies of sound-producing fish on which they preyed. Ultrasonic echolocation evolved in Oligocene odontocetes, enabling them to find silent prey. Asymmetry and much of the sonic-frequency range of directional hearing were lost in Oligocene mysticetes during the shift to low-frequency hearing and bulk-straining predation. PMID:21873217

  2. Diagnosis of Cetacean morbillivirus: A sensitive one step real time RT fast-PCR method based on SYBR(®) Green.

    PubMed

    Sacristán, Carlos; Carballo, Matilde; Muñoz, María Jesús; Bellière, Edwige Nina; Neves, Elena; Nogal, Verónica; Esperón, Fernando

    2015-12-15

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) (family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus) is considered the most pathogenic virus of cetaceans. It was first implicated in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mass stranding episode along the Northwestern Atlantic coast in the late 1980s, and in several more recent worldwide epizootics in different Odontoceti species. This study describes a new one step real-time reverse transcription fast polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-fast PCR) method based on SYBR(®) Green to detect a fragment of the CeMV fusion protein gene. This primer set also works for conventional RT-PCR diagnosis. This method detected and identified all three well-characterized strains of CeMV: porpoise morbillivirus (PMV), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) and pilot whale morbillivirus (PWMV). Relative sensitivity was measured by comparing the results obtained from 10-fold dilution series of PMV and DMV positive controls and a PWMV field sample, to those obtained by the previously described conventional phosphoprotein gene based RT-PCR method. Both the conventional and real-time RT-PCR methods involving the fusion protein gene were 100- to 1000-fold more sensitive than the previously described conventional RT-PCR method. PMID:26454114

  3. Structure, material characteristics and function of the upper respiratory tract of the pygmy sperm whale.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Cotter, Liz; Rogan, Emer; Kelliher, Denis; Murphy, Colm

    2013-12-15

    Cetaceans are neckless, so the trachea is very short. The upper respiratory tract is separate from the mouth and pharynx, and the dorsal blowhole connects, via the vestibular and nasopalatine cavities, directly to the larynx. Toothed cetaceans (Odontoceti) are capable of producing sounds at depth, either for locating prey or for communication. It has been suggested that during dives, air from the lungs and upper respiratory tract can be moved to the vestibular and nasal cavities to permit sound generation to continue when air volume within these cavities decreases as ambient pressure rises. The pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps, is a deep diver (500-1000 m) that is known to produce hunting clicks. Our study of an immature female shows that the upper respiratory tract is highly asymmetrical: the trachea and bronchi are extremely compressible, whereas the larynx is much more rigid. Laryngeal and tracheal volumes were established. Calculations based on Boyle's Law imply that all air from the lungs and bronchi would be transferred to the larynx and trachea by a depth of 270 m and that the larynx itself could not accommodate all respiratory air mass at a depth of 1000 m. This suggests that no respiratory air would be available for vocalisation. However, the bronchi, trachea and part of the larynx have a thick vascular lining featuring large, thin-walled vessels. We propose that these vessels may become dilated during dives to reduce the volume of the upper respiratory tract, permitting forward transfer of air through the larynx. PMID:24072789

  4. Brucella ceti and Brucellosis in Cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Morales, Juan-Alberto; Baquero-Calvo, Elías; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Moreno, Edgardo

    2012-01-01

    Since the first case of brucellosis detected in a dolphin aborted fetus, an increasing number of Brucella ceti isolates has been reported in members of the two suborders of cetaceans: Mysticeti and Odontoceti. Serological surveys have shown that cetacean brucellosis may be distributed worldwide in the oceans. Although all B. ceti isolates have been included within the same species, three different groups have been recognized according to their preferred host, bacteriological properties, and distinct genetic traits: B. ceti dolphin type, B. ceti porpoise type, and B. ceti human type. It seems that B. ceti porpoise type is more closely related to B. ceti human isolates and B. pinnipedialis group, while B. ceti dolphin type seems ancestral to them. Based on comparative phylogenetic analysis, it is feasible that the B. ceti ancestor radiated in a terrestrial artiodactyl host close to the Raoellidae family about 58 million years ago. The more likely mode of transmission of B. ceti seems to be through sexual intercourse, maternal feeding, aborted fetuses, placental tissues, vertical transmission from mother to the fetus or through fish or helminth reservoirs. The B. ceti dolphin and porpoise types seem to display variable virulence in land animal models and low infectivity for humans. However, brucellosis in some dolphins and porpoises has been demonstrated to be a severe chronic disease, displaying significant clinical and pathological signs related to abortions, male infertility, neurobrucellosis, cardiopathies, bone and skin lesions, strandings, and death. PMID:22919595

  5. A Comparative Study of Mammalian Diversification Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenhua; Xu, Junxiao; Wu, Yi; Yang, Guang

    2012-01-01

    Although mammals have long been regarded as a successful radiation, the diversification pattern among the clades is still poorly known. Higher-level phylogenies are conflicting and comprehensive comparative analyses are still lacking. Using a recently published supermatrix encompassing nearly all extant mammalian families and a novel comparative likelihood approach (MEDUSA), the diversification pattern of mammalian groups was examined. Both order- and family-level phylogenetic analyses revealed the rapid radiation of Boreoeutheria and Euaustralidelphia in the early mammalian history. The observation of a diversification burst within Boreoeutheria at approximately 100 My supports the Long Fuse model in elucidating placental diversification progress, and the rapid radiation of Euaustralidelphia suggests an important role of biogeographic dispersal events in triggering early Australian marsupial rapid radiation. Diversification analyses based on family-level diversity tree revealed seven additional clades with exceptional diversification rate shifts, six of which represent accelerations in net diversification rate as compared to the background pattern. The shifts gave origin to the clades Muridae+Cricetidae, Bovidae+Moschidae+Cervidae, Simiiformes, Echimyidae, Odontoceti (excluding Physeteridae+Kogiidae+Platanistidae), Macropodidae, and Vespertilionidae. Moderate to high extinction rates from background and boreoeutherian diversification patterns indicate the important role of turnovers in shaping the heterogeneous taxonomic richness observed among extant mammalian groups. Furthermore, the present results emphasize the key role of extinction on erasing unusual diversification signals, and suggest that further studies are needed to clarify the historical radiation of some mammalian groups for which MEDUSA did not detect exceptional diversification rates. PMID:22457604

  6. Cone visual pigments of aquatic mammals.

    PubMed

    Newman, Lucy A; Robinson, Phyllis R

    2005-01-01

    It has long been hypothesized that the visual systems of animals are evolutionarily adapted to their visual environment. The entrance many millions of years ago of mammals into the sea gave these new aquatic mammals completely novel visual surroundings with respect to light availability and predominant wavelengths. This study examines the cone opsins of marine mammals, hypothesizing, based on previous studies [Fasick et al. (1998) and Levenson & Dizon (2003)], that the deep-dwelling marine mammals would not have color vision because the pressure to maintain color vision in the dark monochromatic ocean environment has been relaxed. Short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) and long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) cone opsin genes from two orders (Cetacea and Sirenia) and an additional suborder (Pinnipedia) of aquatic mammals were amplified from genomic DNA (for SWS) and cDNA (for LWS) by PCR, cloned, and sequenced. All animals studied from the order Cetacea have SWS pseudogenes, whereas a representative from the order Sirenia has an intact SWS gene, for which the corresponding mRNA was found in the retina. One of the pinnipeds studied (harp seal) has an SWS pseudogene, while another species (harbor seal) appeared to have an intact SWS gene. However, no SWS cone opsin mRNA was found in the harbor seal retina, suggesting a promoter or splice site mutation preventing transcription of the gene. The LWS opsins from the different species were expressed in mammalian cells and reconstituted with the 11-cis-retinal chromophore in order to determine maximal absorption wavelengths (lambda(max)) for each. The deeper dwelling Cetacean species had blue shifted lambda(max) values compared to shallower-dwelling aquatic species. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that in the monochromatic oceanic habitat, the pressure to maintain color vision has been relaxed and mutations are retained in the SWS genes, resulting in pseudogenes. Additionally, LWS opsins are retained in the

  7. Mitogenomic analyses of eutherian relationships.

    PubMed

    Arnason, U; Janke, A

    2002-01-01

    Reasonably correct phylogenies are fundamental to the testing of evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we present phylogenetic findings based on analyses of 67 complete mammalian mitochondrial (mt) genomes. The analyses, irrespective of whether they were performed at the amino acid (aa) level or on nucleotides (nt) of first and second codon positions, placed Erinaceomorpha (hedgehogs and their kin) as the sister group of remaining eutherians. Thus, the analyses separated Erinaceomorpha from other traditional lipotyphlans (e.g., tenrecs, moles, and shrews), making traditional Lipotyphla polyphyletic. Both the aa and nt data sets identified the two order-rich eutherian clades, the Cetferungulata (comprising Pholidota, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Cetacea) and the African clade (Tenrecomorpha, Macroscelidea, Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, and Sirenia). The study corroborated recent findings that have identified a sister-group relationship between Anthropoidea and Dermoptera (flying lemurs), thereby making our own order, Primates, a paraphyletic assembly. Molecular estimates using paleontologically well-established calibration points, placed the origin of most eutherian orders in Cretaceous times, 70-100 million years before present (MYBP). The same estimates place all primate divergences much earlier than traditionally believed. For example, the divergence between Homo and Pan is estimated to have taken place approximately 10 MYBP, a dating consistent with recent findings in primate paleontology. PMID:12438776

  8. Cranial remain from Tunisia provides new clues for the origin and evolution of Sirenia (Mammalia, Afrotheria) in Africa.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Julien; Adnet, Sylvain; El Mabrouk, Essid; Khayati, Hayet; Ben Haj Ali, Mustapha; Marivaux, Laurent; Merzeraud, Gilles; Merigeaud, Samuel; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Tabuce, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren). Surprisingly, these fossils come from the Eocene of Jamaica, while stem Hyracoidea and Proboscidea--the putative sister-groups to Sirenia--are recorded in Africa as early as the Late Paleocene. So far, the historical biogeography of early Sirenia has remained obscure given this paradox between phylogeny and fossil record. Here we use X-ray microtomography to investigate a newly discovered sirenian petrosal from the Eocene of Tunisia. This fossil represents the oldest occurrence of sirenians in Africa. The morphology of this petrosal is more primitive than the Jamaican prorastomids' one, which emphasizes the basal position of this new African taxon within the Sirenia clade. This discovery testifies to the great antiquity of Sirenia in Africa, and therefore supports their African origin. While isotopic analyses previously suggested sirenians had adapted directly to the marine environment, new paleoenvironmental evidence suggests that basal-most sea cows were likely restricted to fresh waters. PMID:23342128

  9. Bioaccumulation patterns of polychlorinated biphenyls and chlorinated pesticides in northwest Atlantic pilot whales

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, A.V.; Shea, D.; Moore, M.J.; Stegeman, J.J.

    2000-03-01

    Contaminant exposure is widespread among marine mammals but is of unknown significance. This study characterized organochlorine bioaccumulation in pilot whales, and these bioaccumulation patterns are proposed as representative of Northwest (NW) Atlantic cetacea. Samples were collected from whales stranded in Massachusetts and caught in nets. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and chlorinated pesticide concentrations were determined via GC/ECD and found to be similar to those reported for other NW Atlantic odontocetes. The organochlorine in highest concentration was 4,4{prime}-DDE, followed by trans-nonachlor, 4,4{prime}-DDD, dieldrin, cis-chlordane, C14(52), C15(95), C15(101), C15(118), C16(138), C16(149), C16(153), C17(180), and C17(187). The concentration of 19 pesticides was higher in blubber than liver. The concentration of 26 PCB congeners was also greater in blubber than liver. Principal component analysis and ANOVA indicated that blubber accumulated proportionately more of the most recalcitrant compounds, such as 4,4{prime}-DDE and nonmetabolizable PCBs, compared to liver. Whales that stranded together had more similar bioaccumulation than animals of the same gender or maturity. The high variation among individuals in tissue concentrations and the similarity within a stranding group suggest that pilot whale pods are exposed to a large range of pollutant sources, such as through different prey and feeding locations.

  10. Diversity-dependence brings molecular phylogenies closer to agreement with the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Etienne, Rampal S; Haegeman, Bart; Stadler, Tanja; Aze, Tracy; Pearson, Paul N; Purvis, Andy; Phillimore, Albert B

    2012-04-01

    The branching times of molecular phylogenies allow us to infer speciation and extinction dynamics even when fossils are absent. Troublingly, phylogenetic approaches usually return estimates of zero extinction, conflicting with fossil evidence. Phylogenies and fossils do agree, however, that there are often limits to diversity. Here, we present a general approach to evaluate the likelihood of a phylogeny under a model that accommodates diversity-dependence and extinction. We find, by likelihood maximization, that extinction is estimated most precisely if the rate of increase in the number of lineages in the phylogeny saturates towards the present or first decreases and then increases. We demonstrate the utility and limits of our approach by applying it to the phylogenies for two cases where a fossil record exists (Cetacea and Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera) and to three radiations lacking fossil evidence (Dendroica, Plethodon and Heliconius). We propose that the diversity-dependence model with extinction be used as the standard model for macro-evolutionary dynamics because of its biological realism and flexibility. PMID:21993508

  11. On the development of Cetacean extremities: II. Morphogenesis and histogenesis of the flippers in the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

    PubMed

    Sedmera, D; Misek, I; Klima, M

    1997-04-01

    Externally, the flippers of Cetacea resemble fish fins, but their internal structure is entirely mammalian. They show, however, some adaptative deviations from the typical pattern of the mammalian extremities, the most striking of which is an increased number of phalanges. The aim of this study is to describe the course of the development of flippers in the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) and compare its features with other similar species from an evolutionary perspective. Early stages of flipper development were studied histologically. Differentiation of cartilaginous anlagens of the skeleton progresses proximodistally, condensation in digital rays being evident sooner than chondrogenesis in the carpal region. In one specimen, the temporary presence of cartilaginous rudiments of two carpal elements, which are not found in adults, was observed. At all examined stages, phalangeal number progressively increases up to (radial to ulnar) 3, 7, 7, 5, 3 in the most advanced stage. The reason for this condition is the specialised function of these limb-like structures. It is a classical example of convergence, in which mammalian extremities change their form to emulate the fin function. A similar condition is found in another group of originally terrestrial animals secondarily fully adapted to the aquatic mode of life-Ichyosauria (Reptilia). PMID:9253589

  12. On the development of Cetacean extremities: I. Hind limb rudimentation in the Spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

    PubMed

    Sedmera, D; Misek, I; Klima, M

    1997-02-01

    The Cetacea are group of animals which have completely lost their hind limbs during the course of evolution as a result of their entirely aquatic mode of life. It is known, however, that during their embryonal period, the hind limb buds are temporarily present. The control mechanisms of this regression are not yet understood, and vestigial limbs can sometimes be found in adults. The aim of the present study is to describe the course of hind limb rudimentation during prenatal development of Stenella attenuata (Spotted dolphin) at tissue and cell levels and compare the results with other natural or experimentally induced amelias. Hind limb buds of dolphin embryos, CRL 10-30 mm, were examined histologically. Before total disappearance, they show histodifferentiation comparable with other mammals. Initially, they form the apical ectodermal ridge, which soon regresses. The mesenchyme undergoes the process of condensation to form anlagens of prospective skeletal elements. These condensations are surrounded by vascular plexuses. During the course of rudimentation, some mesenchymal cells die, while the others are incorporated into the body wall. Nerve ingrowth into rudimentary limb buds was also detected. The temporary presence of hind limb rudiments in cetacean embryos can be regarded as a good example of recapitulation of phylogenesis in ontogenesis. PMID:9143876

  13. Complete amino acid sequence of the myoglobin from the Pacific spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata graffmani.

    PubMed

    Jones, B N; Wang, C C; Dwulet, F E; Lehman, L D; Meuth, J L; Bogardt, R A; Gurd, F R

    1979-04-25

    The complete amino acid sequence of the major component myoglobin from the Pacific spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata graffmani, was determined by the automated Edman degradation of several large peptides obtained by specific cleavage of the protein. The acetimidated apomyoglobin was selectively cleaved at its two methionyl residues with cyanogen bromide and at its three arginyl residues by trypsin. By subjecting four of these peptides and the apomyoglobin to automated Edman degradation, over 80% of the primary structure of the protein was obtained. The remainder of the covalent structure was determined by the sequence analysis of peptides that resulted from further digestion of the central cyanogen bromide fragment. This fragment was cleaved at its glutamyl residues with staphylococcal protease and its lysyl residues with trypsin. The action of trypsin was restricted to the lysyl residues by chemical modification of the single arginyl residue of the fragment with 1,2-cyclohexanedione. The primary structure of this myoglobin proved to be identical with that from the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin and Pacific common dolphin but differs from the myoglobins of the killer whale and pilot whale at two positions. The above sequence identities and differences reflect the close taxonomic relationship of these five species of Cetacea. PMID:454657

  14. Fetal and Early Post-Natal Mineralization of the Tympanic Bulla in Fin Whales May Reveal a Hitherto Undiscovered Evolutionary Trait

    PubMed Central

    Cozzi, Bruno; Podestà, Michela; Mazzariol, Sandro; Zotti, Alessandro

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the cetacean skeleton followed a path that differentiated this group from other terrestrial mammals about 50 million years ago [1], and debate is still going on about the relationships between Cetacea and Artiodactyla [2], [3], [4]. Some skeletal traits of the basilosaurids (the more advanced forms of Archaeocetes), such as the expansion of the peribullary air sinuses, dental modification and vertebral size uniformity [5] are maintained and further emphasized also in contemporary odontocetes and mysticetes. Using Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry here we report that the deposition of bone mineral in fetal and newborn specimens of the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus is remarkably higher in the bulla tympanica than in the adjacent basal skull or in the rest of the skeleton. Ossification of the tympanic bulla in fetal Artiodactyla (bovine, hippopotamus) is minimal, becomes sensible after birth and then progresses during growth, contrarily to the precocious mineralization that we observed in fin whales. Given the importance of the ear bones for the precise identification of phylogenetic relationship in therian evolution [6], this feature may indicate a specific evolutionary trait of fin whales and possibly other cetacean species or families. Early mineralization of the tympanic bulla allows immediate sound conduction in the aquatic medium and consequently holds potential importance for mother-calf relationship and postnatal survival. PMID:22615912

  15. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-12-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  16. Simulating the effect of high-intensity sound on cetaceans: modeling approach and a case study for Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris).

    PubMed

    Krysl, P; Cranford, T W; Wiggins, S M; Hildebrand, J A

    2006-10-01

    A finite element model is formulated to study the steady-state vibration response of the anatomy of a whale (Cetacea) submerged in seawater. The anatomy was reconstructed from a combination of two-dimensional (2D) computed tomography (CT) scan images, identification of Hounsfield units with tissue types, and mapping of mechanical properties. A partial differential equation model describes the motion of the tissues within a Lagrangean framework. The computational model was applied to the study of the response of the tissues within the head of a neonate Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris. The characteristics of the sound stimulus was a continuous wave excitation at 3500 Hz and 180 dB re: 1 microPa received level, incident as a plane wave. We model the beaked whale tissues embedded within a volume of seawater. To account for the finite dimensions of the computational volume, we increased the damping for viscous shear stresses within the water volume, in an attempt to reduce the contribution of waves reflected from the boundaries of the computational box. The mechanical response of the tissues was simulated including: strain amplitude; dissipated power; and pressure. The tissues are not likely to suffer direct mechanical or thermal damage, within the range of parameters tested. PMID:17069328

  17. Purification and characterization of a liver-derived beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidase from marine mammal Sotalia fluviatilis.

    PubMed

    Gomes Júnior, J E; Souza, D S L; Nascimento, R M; Lima, A L M; Melo, J A T; Rocha, T L; Miller, R N G; Franco, O L; Grossi-de-Sa, M F; Abreu, L R D

    2010-04-01

    A beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidase (EC 3.2.1.52) was purified from hepatic extracts of Sotalia fluviatilis, order Cetacea. The protein was purified by using ammonium sulfate fractionation and four subsequent chromatographies (Biogel A 1.5 m, Chitin, Deae-Biogel and hydroxyapatite resins). After these purification steps, the enzyme was purified 380.5-fold with an 8.4% yield. The molecular mass (10 kDa) was estimated by SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF analysis. A Km of 2.72 mM and Vmax 9.5 x 10(-6) micromol/(min x mg) were found for this enzyme, determined by p-nitrophenyl-beta-D: -hexosaminide substrate digestion. Optimal pH and temperature for beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidase activity were 5.0 and 60 degrees C, respectively. Enzyme activity was inhibited by sodium selenate (Na(2)SeO(4)), mercuric chloride (HgCl(2)) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (C(12)H(25)SO(4)Na), and activated by zinc, calcium, barium and lithium ions. Characterization of the beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidase in Sotalia fluviatilis can be a basis for physiological studies in this species. PMID:20349205

  18. Radiation of Extant Cetaceans Driven by Restructuring of the Oceans

    PubMed Central

    Steeman, Mette E.; Hebsgaard, Martin B.; Fordyce, R. Ewan; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Rabosky, Daniel L.; Nielsen, Rasmus; Rahbek, Carsten; Glenner, Henrik; Sørensen, Martin V.; Willerslev, Eske

    2009-01-01

    The remarkable fossil record of whales and dolphins (Cetacea) has made them an exemplar of macroevolution. Although their overall adaptive transition from terrestrial to fully aquatic organisms is well known, this is not true for the radiation of modern whales. Here, we explore the diversification of extant cetaceans by constructing a robust molecular phylogeny that includes 87 of 89 extant species. The phylogeny and divergence times are derived from nuclear and mitochondrial markers, calibrated with fossils. We find that the toothed whales are monophyletic, suggesting that echolocation evolved only once early in that lineage some 36–34 Ma. The rorqual family (Balaenopteridae) is restored with the exclusion of the gray whale, suggesting that gulp feeding evolved 18–16 Ma. Delphinida, comprising all living dolphins and porpoises other than the Ganges/Indus dolphins, originated about 26 Ma; it contains the taxonomically rich delphinids, which began diversifying less than 11 Ma. We tested 2 hypothesized drivers of the extant cetacean radiation by assessing the tempo of lineage accumulation through time. We find no support for a rapid burst of speciation early in the history of extant whales, contrasting with expectations of an adaptive radiation model. However, we do find support for increased diversification rates during periods of pronounced physical restructuring of the oceans. The results imply that paleogeographic and paleoceanographic changes, such as closure of major seaways, have influenced the dynamics of radiation in extant cetaceans. PMID:20525610

  19. A prediction of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) middle-ear transfer functiona)

    PubMed Central

    Tubelli, Andrew A.; Zosuls, Aleks; Ketten, Darlene R.; Yamato, Maya; Mountain, David C.

    2012-01-01

    The lack of baleen whale (Cetacea Mysticeti) audiograms impedes the assessment of the impacts of anthropogenic noise on these animals. Estimates of audiograms, which are difficult to obtain behaviorally or electrophysiologically for baleen whales, can be made by simulating the audiogram as a series of components representing the outer, middle, and inner ear (Rosowski, 1991; Ruggero and Temchin, 2002). The middle-ear portion of the system can be represented by the middle-ear transfer function (METF), a measure of the transmission of acoustic energy from the external ear to the cochlea. An anatomically accurate finite element model of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) middle ear was developed to predict the METF for a mysticete species. The elastic moduli of the auditory ossicles were measured by using nanoindentation. Other mechanical properties were estimated from experimental stiffness measurements or from published values. The METF predicted a best frequency range between approximately 30 Hz and 7.5 kHz or between 100 Hz and 25 kHz depending on stimulation location. Parametric analysis found that the most sensitive parameters are the elastic moduli of the glove finger and joints and the Rayleigh damping stiffness coefficient β. The predicted hearing range matches well with the vocalization range. PMID:23145610

  20. Hepatocyte vacuolation and autolytic changes in the liver of pilot whales, Globicephala melas, stranded on Cape Cod, MA, USA.

    PubMed

    Moore, M J; Stegeman, J J

    1996-07-16

    Most cetacea available for internal sampling in recent times have died through mass or single stranding events. It is important to know how the time elapsed between death and sampling affect quality of tissues. This study evaluated histological quality in the liver of long-finned pilot whales that either died or were euthanased after mass stranding events. Histological detection of significant autolysis was found in animals when 2 or more hours elapsed between death and sampling. In addition, hepatocytes often had marked idiopathic cytoplasmic vacuolation that did not stain with hematoxylin and eosin. The extent of this vacuolation did not show any correlation with time between death and sampling, but did appear more often in animals of greater total length. These observations suggest that when animals die or are euthanased at a single or mass stranding, every effort should be made to obtain samples as soon as possible, although meaningful histological observations can still be made in the presence of significant autolysis. These data also suggest that a multi-disciplinary study should be conducted to determine whether increasing autolysis is associated with changes in the organic chemical residues, molecular biology, histopathology and microbiology of those tissues. PMID:8685702

  1. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-01-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m.This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  2. Evolution of marine mammals: back to the sea after 300 million years.

    PubMed

    Uhen, Mark D

    2007-06-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that mammals re-entered the marine realm on at least seven separate occasions. Five of these clades are still extant, whereas two are extinct. This review presents a brief introduction to the phylogeny of each group of marine mammals, based on the latest studies using both morphological and molecular data. Evolutionary highlights are presented, focusing on changes affecting the sensory systems, locomotion, breathing, feeding, and reproduction in Cetacea, Sirenia, Desmostylia, and Pinnipedia. Aquatic adaptations are specifically cited, supported by data from morphological and geochemical studies. For example, analysis of oxygen isotopes incorporated into fossil tooth enamel indicates whether these mammals foraged in (and, therefore, ingested) fresh water or sea water. Comparisons between groups are made to see if there are any common patterns, particularly relating to adaptations to aquatic life. Results show that aquatic characteristics evolved in mosaic patterns and that different morphological solutions to aquatic conditions were achieved separately in each of these groups. Changes in the axial and appendicular skeleton assist with locomotion for aquatic foraging. Nostril and eye placement modifications accommodate wading versus underwater foraging needs. All groups exhibit aquatic adaptations directly related to feeding, particularly changes in the dentition and rostrum. The earliest representatives of these clades all show morphological features that indicate they were feeding while in the water, suggesting that feeding ecology is a key factor in the evolution of marine mammals. PMID:17516441

  3. Molecular decay of the tooth gene Enamelin (ENAM) mirrors the loss of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Murphy, William J; Ryder, Oliver A; Springer, Mark S

    2009-09-01

    Vestigial structures occur at both the anatomical and molecular levels, but studies documenting the co-occurrence of morphological degeneration in the fossil record and molecular decay in the genome are rare. Here, we use morphology, the fossil record, and phylogenetics to predict the occurrence of "molecular fossils" of the enamelin (ENAM) gene in four different orders of placental mammals (Tubulidentata, Pholidota, Cetacea, Xenarthra) with toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Our results support the "molecular fossil" hypothesis and demonstrate the occurrence of frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in all toothless and enamelless taxa. We then use a novel method based on selection intensity estimates for codons (omega) to calculate the timing of iterated enamel loss in the fossil record of aardvarks and pangolins, and further show that the molecular evolutionary history of ENAM predicts the occurrence of enamel in basal representatives of Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters, armadillos) even though frameshift mutations are ubiquitous in ENAM sequences of living xenarthrans. The molecular decay of ENAM parallels the morphological degeneration of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals and provides manifest evidence for the predictive power of Darwin's theory. PMID:19730686

  4. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Estrada, A.; Bonde, R.K.; Wong, A.; Estrada, D.J.; Harr, K.

    2006-01-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  5. [Neurophysins of Mammals: evolution and biological signification].

    PubMed

    Chauvet, M T; Coffe, G; Chauvet, J; Acher, R

    1976-01-01

    Neurohypophysial hormone-Neurophysin complexes have been prepared from posterior pituitary glands of Artiodactyla (ox, sheep, pig), Perissodactyla (horse) and Cetacea (whale), by fractionated salt precipitation. The components have been separated by molecular sieving in 0.2 M acetic acid and neurophysins have been purified by ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex A-50. Two types of neurophysins, MSEL-neurophysins and VLDV-neurophysins, can be distinguished according to the amino acid residues in positions 2, 3, 6 and 7. MSEL-neurophysins of sheep, ox and pig have been characterized by the amino acid sequence. Ovine and bovine MSEL-neurophysins are nearly identical (one substitution out of 95 residues) and porcine MSEL-neurophysin is very similar (four substitutions and an apparent 3-residue C-terminal deletion). The biological function of neurophysins might be the carriage of neurohypophysial hormones but in this respect, each type of neurophysin is not clearly specific for a given hormone. On the other hand, each neurophysin might share a common precursor with a neurohypophysial hormone, the two parts remaining associated after cleavage. However, in the sheep posterior pituitary gland, the molar proportions of the two types of neurophysins, oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, are not equal, MSEL-neurophysin being more abundant than the other components. If a common precursor exists, neurophysins and neurohypophysial hormones are not merely produced by a simple cleavage mechanism. PMID:134792

  6. Two isoforms of aquaporin 2 responsive to hypertonic stress in the bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miwa; Wakui, Hitomi; Itou, Takuya; Segawa, Takao; Inoshima, Yasuo; Maeda, Ken; Kikuchi, Kiyoshi

    2016-04-15

    This study investigated the expression of aquaporin 2 (AQP2) and its newly found alternatively spliced isoform (alternative AQP2) and the functions of these AQP2 isoforms in the cellular hyperosmotic tolerance in the bottlenose dolphin, ITALIC! Tursiops truncatus mRNA sequencing revealed that alternative AQP2 lacks the fourth exon and instead has a longer third exon that includes a part of the original third intron. The portion of the third intron, now part of the coding region of alternative AQP2, is highly conserved among many species of the order Cetacea but not among terrestrial mammals. Semi-quantitative PCR revealed that AQP2 was expressed only in the kidney, similar to terrestrial mammals. In contrast, alternative AQP2 was expressed in all organs examined, with strong expression in the kidney. In cultured renal cells, expression of both AQP2 isoforms was upregulated by the addition to the medium of NaCl but not by the addition of mannitol, indicating that the expression of both isoforms is induced by hypersalinity. Treatment with small interfering RNA for both isoforms resulted in a decrease in cell viability in hypertonic medium (500 mOsm kg(-1)) when compared with controls. These findings indicate that the expression of alternatively spliced AQP2 is ubiquitous in cetacean species, and it may be one of the molecules important for cellular osmotic tolerance throughout the body. PMID:26944501

  7. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction. PMID:17315428

  8. Modular organizations of novel cetacean papillomaviruses.

    PubMed

    Gottschling, Marc; Bravo, Ignacio G; Schulz, Eric; Bracho, Maria A; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul D; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Stockfleth, Eggert; Nindl, Ingo

    2011-04-01

    The phylogenetic position of cetacean papillomaviruses (PVs: Omikron-PVs and Upsilon-PVs) varies depending on the region of the genome analysed. They cluster together with Alpha-PVs when analysing early genes and with Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs when analysing late genes. We cloned and sequenced the complete genomes of five novel PVs, sampled from genital and oesophageal lesions of free-ranging cetaceans: Delphinus delphis (DdPV1), Lagenorhynchus acutus (TtPV3 variant), and Phocoena phocoena (PphPV1, PphPV2, and PphPV3). Using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian approaches, all cetacean PVs constituted a monophyletic group with Alpha-, Omega-, and Dyodelta-PVs as inferred from E1-E2 early genes analyses, thus matching the shared phenotype of mucosal tropism. However, cetacean PVs, with the exception of PphPV3, were the closest relatives of Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs in L2-L1 late genes analyses, isolated from cow and goat, thus reflecting the close relationship between Cetacea and Artiodactyla. Our results are compatible with a recombination between ancestral PVs infecting the Cetartiodactyla lineage. Our study supports a complex evolutionary scenario with multiple driving forces for PV diversification, possibly including recombination and also interspecies transmission. PMID:21195783

  9. Cranial Remain from Tunisia Provides New Clues for the Origin and Evolution of Sirenia (Mammalia, Afrotheria) in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, Julien; Adnet, Sylvain; El Mabrouk, Essid; Khayati, Hayet; Ben Haj Ali, Mustapha; Marivaux, Laurent; Merzeraud, Gilles; Merigeaud, Samuel; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Tabuce, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren). Surprisingly, these fossils come from the Eocene of Jamaica, while stem Hyracoidea and Proboscidea - the putative sister-groups to Sirenia - are recorded in Africa as early as the Late Paleocene. So far, the historical biogeography of early Sirenia has remained obscure given this paradox between phylogeny and fossil record. Here we use X-ray microtomography to investigate a newly discovered sirenian petrosal from the Eocene of Tunisia. This fossil represents the oldest occurrence of sirenians in Africa. The morphology of this petrosal is more primitive than the Jamaican prorastomids’ one, which emphasizes the basal position of this new African taxon within the Sirenia clade. This discovery testifies to the great antiquity of Sirenia in Africa, and therefore supports their African origin. While isotopic analyses previously suggested sirenians had adapted directly to the marine environment, new paleoenvironmental evidence suggests that basal-most sea cows were likely restricted to fresh waters. PMID:23342128

  10. Baleen wear reveals intraoral water flow patterns of mysticete filter feeding.

    PubMed

    Werth, Alexander J; Straley, Janice M; Shadwick, Robert E

    2016-04-01

    A survey of macroscopic and microscopic wear patterns in the baleen of eight whale species (Cetacea: Mysticeti) discloses structural, functional, and life history properties of this neomorphic keratinous tissue, including evidence of intraoral water flow patterns involved in filter feeding. All baleen demonstrates wear, particularly on its medial and ventral edges, as flat outer layers of cortical keratin erode to reveal horn tubes, also of keratin, which emerge as hair-like fringes. This study quantified five additional categories of specific wear: pitting of plates, scratching of plates, scuffing of fringes, shortening of fringes, and reorientation of fringes (including fringes directed between plates to the exterior of the mouth). Blue whale baleen showed the most pitting and sei whale baleen the most scratching; gray whale baleen had the most fringe wear. The location of worn baleen within the mouth suggests that direct contact with the tongue is not responsible for most wear, and that flowing water as well as abrasive prey or sediment carried by the flowing water likely causes pitting and scratching of plates as well as fringe fraying, scuffing, shortening, and reorientation. Baleen also has elevated vertical and horizontal ridges that are unrelated to wear; these are probably related to growth and may allow for age determination. PMID:26825852

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome of Juema pig Sus scrofa (Suina: Suidae) from southern Gansu.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan-Yan; Tian, Xiao-Xiao; Chen, Lei-Lei; Pan, Hong-Chun

    2016-09-01

    Juema pig is a kind of rare and special pig which is well adapted to high altitude, cold climate and harsh natural environment. The complete mitochondrial genome of Juema pig Sus scrofa is a circular molecule of 16 532 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs, and a control region. The A + T content of the overall base composition of H-strand is 60.7% (T: 26.2%; C: 26.0%; A: 34.5%; G: 13.3%). ND4L gene begins with GTG as start codon, ND2, ND3, and ND5 genes begin with ATA as a start codon, and other nine protein-coding genes start with ATG. Cyt b gene is terminated with AGA as stop codon, ND1 and ND2 genes are terminated with TAG as stop codon, COII, COIII, ND3, and ND4 end with T, while ATP6, ATP8, COI, ND4L, ND5, and ND6 end with TAA. In addition, the phylogenetic relationships from neighbor-joining analyses based on the 13 concatenated PCGs indicated (Tylopoda (Suina (Ruminantia (Hippopotamidae, Cetacea)))). PMID:26359921

  12. The broad spectrum of Trichinella hosts: from cold- to warm-blooded animals.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E

    2005-09-01

    In recent years, studies on Trichinella have shown that the host range is wider than previously believed and new Trichinella species and genotypes have been described. Three classes of vertebrates are known to act as hosts, mammals, birds and reptiles, and infected vertebrates have been detected on all continents but Antarctica. Mammals represent the most important hosts and all Trichinella species are able to develop in this vertebrate class. Natural infections with Trichinella have been described in more than 150 mammalian species belonging to 12 orders (i.e., Marsupialia, Insectivora, Edentata, Chiroptera, Lagomorpha, Rodentia, Cetacea, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, Tylopoda and Primates). The epidemiology of the infection greatly varies by species relative to characteristics, such as diet, life span, distribution, behaviour, and relationships with humans. The non-encapsulated species Trichinella pseudospiralis, detected in both mammals (14 species) and birds (13 species), shows a cosmopolitan distribution with three distinguishable populations in the Palearctic, Nearctic and Australian regions. Two additional non-encapsulated species, Trichinella papuae, detected in wild pigs and saltwater crocodiles of Papua New Guinea, and Trichinella zimbabwensis, detected in farmed Nile crocodiles of Zimbabwe, can complete their life cycle in both mammals and reptiles. To the best of our knowledge, T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis are the only two parasites known to complete their entire life cycle independently of whether the host is warm-blooded or cold-blooded. This suggests that these two Trichinella species are capable of activating different physiological mechanisms, according to the specific vertebrate class hosting them. PMID:15970384

  13. Divergence date estimation and a comprehensive molecular tree of extant cetaceans.

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R; Spaulding, Michelle; Gatesy, John

    2009-12-01

    Cetaceans are remarkable among mammals for their numerous adaptations to an entirely aquatic existence, yet many aspects of their phylogeny remain unresolved. Here we merged 37 new sequences from the nuclear genes RAG1 and PRM1 with most published molecular data for the group (45 nuclear loci, transposons, mitochondrial genomes), and generated a supermatrix consisting of 42,335 characters. The great majority of these data have never been combined. Model-based analyses of the supermatrix produced a solid, consistent phylogenetic hypothesis for 87 cetacean species. Bayesian analyses corroborated odontocete (toothed whale) monophyly, stabilized basal odontocete relationships, and completely resolved branching events within Mysticeti (baleen whales) as well as the problematic speciose clade Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins). Only limited conflicts relative to maximum likelihood results were recorded, and discrepancies found in parsimony trees were very weakly supported. We utilized the Bayesian supermatrix tree to estimate divergence dates among lineages using relaxed-clock methods. Divergence estimates revealed rapid branching of basal odontocete lineages near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, the antiquity of river dolphin lineages, a Late Miocene radiation of balaenopteroid mysticetes, and a recent rapid radiation of Delphinidae beginning approximately 10 million years ago. Our comprehensive, time-calibrated tree provides a powerful evolutionary tool for broad-scale comparative studies of Cetacea. PMID:19699809

  14. Examining the prey mass of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous mammals: minimum, maximum and range.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems. PMID:25162695

  15. From the discovery of the Malta fever's agent to the discovery of a marine mammal reservoir, brucellosis has continuously been a re-emerging zoonosis.

    PubMed

    Godfroid, Jacques; Cloeckaert, Axel; Liautard, Jean-Pierre; Kohler, Stephan; Fretin, David; Walravens, Karl; Garin-Bastuji, Bruno; Letesson, Jean-Jacques

    2005-01-01

    Brucellosis is not a sustainable disease in humans. The source of human infection always resides in domestic or wild animal reservoirs. The routes of infection are multiple: food-borne, occupational or recreational, linked to travel and even to bioterrorism. New Brucella strains or species may emerge and existing Brucella species adapt to changing social, cultural, travel and agricultural environment. Brucella melitensis is the most important zoonotic agent, followed by Brucella abortus and Brucella suis. This correlates with the fact that worldwide, the control of bovine brucellosis (due to B. abortus) has been achieved to a greater extent than the control of sheep and goat brucellosis (due to B. melitensis), these latter species being the most important domestic animals in many developing countries. The long duration and high cost of treatment of human brucellosis reduces the efficacy of the therapy. There is no human vaccine for brucellosis and the occurrence of brucellosis is directly linked to the status of animal brucellosis in a region. In this context, the Word Health Organization has defined the development of a human vaccine, besides the implementation of control and eradication programs in animals, as a high priority. The pathogenicity for humans of B. suis biovars 1, 3 and 4 is well established, whereas B. suis biovar 2 seems to be less pathogenic. Indeed, although hunters and pig farmers have repeatably experienced infectious contact with B. suis biovar 2 (found in wild boar and outdoor-rearing pigs in Europe), isolation of B. suis biovar 2 from human samples have only been seldom reported. Marine mammal brucellosis, due to two new proposed Brucella species i.e. B. cetaceae and B. pinnipediae, represents a new zoonotic threat but the pathogenicity for humans of the different Brucella species found in cetaceans and pinnipeds still has to be clearly established. PMID:15845228

  16. Examining the Prey Mass of Terrestrial and Aquatic Carnivorous Mammals: Minimum, Maximum and Range

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Marlee A.; Rogers, Tracey L.

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems. PMID:25162695

  17. Transition of Eocene Whales from Land to Sea: Evidence from Bone Microstructure

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Tafforeau, Paul; de Muizon, Christian; Gingerich, Philip D.

    2015-01-01

    Cetacea are secondarily aquatic amniotes that underwent their land-to-sea transition during the Eocene. Primitive forms, called archaeocetes, include five families with distinct degrees of adaptation to an aquatic life, swimming mode and abilities that remain difficult to estimate. The lifestyle of early cetaceans is investigated by analysis of microanatomical features in postcranial elements of archaeocetes. We document the internal structure of long bones, ribs and vertebrae in fifteen specimens belonging to the three more derived archaeocete families — Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, and Basilosauridae — using microtomography and virtual thin-sectioning. This enables us to discuss the osseous specializations observed in these taxa and to comment on their possible swimming behavior. All these taxa display bone mass increase (BMI) in their ribs, which lack an open medullary cavity, and in their femora, whereas their vertebrae are essentially spongious. Humeri and femora show opposite trends in microanatomical specialization in the progressive independence of cetaceans from a terrestrial environment. Humeri change from very compact to spongious, which is in accordance with the progressive loss of propulsive role for the forelimbs, which were used instead for steering and stabilizing. Conversely, hind-limbs in basilosaurids became strongly reduced with no involvement in locomotion but display strong osteosclerosis in the femora. Our study confirms that Remingtonocetidae and Protocetidae were almost exclusively aquatic in locomotion for the taxa sampled, which probably were shallow water suspended swimmers. Basilosaurids display osseous specializations similar to those of modern cetaceans and are considered more active open-sea swimmers. This study highlights the strong need for homologous sections in comparative microanatomical studies, and the importance of combining information from several bones of the same taxon for improved functional interpretation. PMID

  18. Evolution of the mammalian dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Hevner, Robert F

    2016-02-15

    The dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation, has important functions in learning, memory, and adult neurogenesis. Compared with homologous areas in sauropsids (birds and reptiles), the mammalian DG is larger and exhibits qualitatively different phenotypes: 1) folded (C- or V-shaped) granule neuron layer, concave toward the hilus and delimited by a hippocampal fissure; 2) nonperiventricular adult neurogenesis; and 3) prolonged ontogeny, involving extensive abventricular (basal) migration and proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). Although gaps remain, available data indicate that these DG traits are present in all orders of mammals, including monotremes and marsupials. The exception is Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), in which DG size, convolution, and adult neurogenesis have undergone evolutionary regression. Parsimony suggests that increased growth and convolution of the DG arose in stem mammals concurrently with nonperiventricular adult hippocampal neurogenesis and basal migration of NSPCs during development. These traits could all result from an evolutionary change that enhanced radial migration of NSPCs out of the periventricular zones, possibly by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, to colonize and maintain nonperiventricular proliferative niches. In turn, increased NSPC migration and clonal expansion might be a consequence of growth in the cortical hem (medial patterning center), which produces morphogens such as Wnt3a, generates Cajal-Retzius neurons, and is regulated by Lhx2. Finally, correlations between DG convolution and neocortical gyrification (or capacity for gyrification) suggest that enhanced abventricular migration and proliferation of NSPCs played a transformative role in growth and folding of neocortex as well as archicortex. PMID:26179319

  19. Serological Diagnosis of Brucella Infections in Odontocetes▿

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Manire, Charles A.; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Barquero-Calvo, Elías; Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; Staggs, Lydia; Thompson, Rachel; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Moreno, Edgardo

    2009-01-01

    Brucella ceti causes disease in Odontoceti. The absence of control serum collections and the diversity of cetaceans have hampered the standardization of serological tests for the diagnosis of cetacean brucellosis. Without a “gold” standard for sensitivity and specificity determination, an alternative approach was followed. We designed an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) that recognizes immunoglobulins G (IgGs) from 17 odontocete species as a single group. For the standardization, we used Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus lipopolysaccharides, serum samples from seven resident odontocetes with no history of infectious disease displaying negative rose bengal test (RBT) reactions, and serum samples from seven dolphins infected with B. ceti. We compared the performance of the iELISA with those of the protein G ELISA (gELISA), the competitive ELISA (cELISA), and the immunofluorescence (IF) and dot blot (DB) tests, using 179 odontocete serum samples and RBT as the reference. The diagnostic potential based on sensitivity and specificity of the iELISA was superior to that of gELISA and cELISA. The correlation and agreement between the iELISA and the gELISA were relatively good (Ri/g2 = 0.65 and κi/g = 0.66, respectively), while the correlation and agreement of these two ELISAs with cELISA were low (Ri/c2 = 0.46, Rg/c2 = 0.37 and κi/c = 0.62, κg/c = 0.42). In spite of using the same anti-odontocete IgG antibody, the iELISA was more specific than were the IF and DB tests. An association between high antibody titers and the presence of neurological symptoms in dolphins was observed. The prediction is that iELISA based on broadly cross-reacting anti-dolphin IgG antibody would be a reliable test for the diagnosis of brucellosis in odontocetes, including families not covered in this study. PMID:19386800

  20. Gross and microscopic visceral anatomy of the male Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus (Pinnipedia: Otariidae), with reference to organ size and growth

    PubMed Central

    STEWARDSON, CAROLYN L.; HEMSLEY, SUSAN; MEYER, MIKE A.; CANFIELD, PAUL J.; MAINDONALD, JOHN H.

    1999-01-01

    The gross and microscopic anatomy of the Cape fur seal heart, lung, liver, spleen, stomach, intestine and kidneys (n = 31 seals) is described. Absolute and relative size of organs from 30 male seals are presented, with histological examination conducted on 7 animals. The relationship between log body weight, log organ weight and age was investigated using linear regression. Twenty five animals were of known age, while 6 were aged from counts of incremental lines observed in the dentine of tooth sections. For the range of ages represented in this study, body weight changes were accurately described by the exponential growth equation, weight = wort, with body weight increasing by 23% per annum until at least 9–10 y of age. Organ weight increased at a rate of between 25% and 33% per annum until at least 9–10 y of age, with the exception of the intestines, where exponential increase appeared to have ceased by about 7 y. The relationship between body weight and organ weight was investigated using logarithmic transformations of the allometric equation, y = axb, where the exponent b is 1 if organ weight is proportional to body weight. Most organs increased in proportion to the body. However, the heart, liver and spleen had exponents b > 1, suggesting that these organs increased at a faster rate than the body. The basic anatomical features of the viscera were similar to those of other pinnipeds, with some exceptions, including the arrangement of the multilobed lung and liver. Apart from the large liver and kidneys, relative size of the organs did not differ greatly from similar sized terrestrial carnivores. The histological features of the organs were generally consistent with those previously described for this species and other otariids. The heart, as in other pinnipeds, was unlike that of cetacea in not having unusually thick endocardium or prominent Purkinje cells. Notable histological features of the lungs included prominent fibrous septa, prominent smooth muscle

  1. An LTR Retrotransposon-Derived Gene Displays Lineage-Specific Structural and Putative Species-Specific Functional Variations in Eutherians.

    PubMed

    Irie, Masahito; Koga, Akihiko; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Amongst the 11 eutherian-specific genes acquired from a sushi-ichi retrotransposon is the CCHC type zinc-finger protein-encoding gene SIRH11/ZCCHC16. Its contribution to eutherian brain evolution is implied because of its involvement in cognitive function in mice, possibly via the noradrenergic system. Although, the possibility that Sirh11/Zcchc16 functions as a non-coding RNA still remains, dN/dS ratios in pairwise comparisons between its orthologs have provided supportive evidence that it acts as a protein. It became a pseudogene in armadillos (Cingulata) and sloths (Pilosa), the only two extant orders of xenarthra, which prompted us to examine the lineage-specific variations of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 in eutherians. We examined the predicted SIRH11/ZCCHC16 open reading frame (ORF) in 95 eutherian species based on the genomic DNA information in GenBank. A large variation in the SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORF was detected in several lineages. These include a lack of a CCHC RNA-binding domain in its C-terminus, observed in gibbons (Hylobatidae: Primates) and megabats (Megachiroptera: Chiroptera). A lack of the N-terminal half, on the other hand, was observed in New World monkeys (Platyrrhini: Primates) and species belonging to New World and African Hystricognaths (Caviomorpha and Bathyergidae: Rodents) along with Cetacea and Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla). Among the hominoids, interestingly, three out of four genera of gibbons have lost normal SIRH11/ZCCHC16 function by deletion or the lack of the CCHC RNA-binding domain. Our extensive dN/dS analysis suggests that such truncated SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORFs are functionally diversified even within lineages. Combined, our results show that SIRH11/ZCCHC16 may contribute to the diversification of eutherians by lineage-specific structural changes after its domestication in the common eutherian ancestor, followed by putative species-specific functional changes that enhanced fitness and occurred as a consequence of complex natural selection events

  2. An LTR Retrotransposon-Derived Gene Displays Lineage-Specific Structural and Putative Species-Specific Functional Variations in Eutherians

    PubMed Central

    Irie, Masahito; Koga, Akihiko; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Amongst the 11 eutherian-specific genes acquired from a sushi-ichi retrotransposon is the CCHC type zinc-finger protein-encoding gene SIRH11/ZCCHC16. Its contribution to eutherian brain evolution is implied because of its involvement in cognitive function in mice, possibly via the noradrenergic system. Although, the possibility that Sirh11/Zcchc16 functions as a non-coding RNA still remains, dN/dS ratios in pairwise comparisons between its orthologs have provided supportive evidence that it acts as a protein. It became a pseudogene in armadillos (Cingulata) and sloths (Pilosa), the only two extant orders of xenarthra, which prompted us to examine the lineage-specific variations of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 in eutherians. We examined the predicted SIRH11/ZCCHC16 open reading frame (ORF) in 95 eutherian species based on the genomic DNA information in GenBank. A large variation in the SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORF was detected in several lineages. These include a lack of a CCHC RNA-binding domain in its C-terminus, observed in gibbons (Hylobatidae: Primates) and megabats (Megachiroptera: Chiroptera). A lack of the N-terminal half, on the other hand, was observed in New World monkeys (Platyrrhini: Primates) and species belonging to New World and African Hystricognaths (Caviomorpha and Bathyergidae: Rodents) along with Cetacea and Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla). Among the hominoids, interestingly, three out of four genera of gibbons have lost normal SIRH11/ZCCHC16 function by deletion or the lack of the CCHC RNA-binding domain. Our extensive dN/dS analysis suggests that such truncated SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORFs are functionally diversified even within lineages. Combined, our results show that SIRH11/ZCCHC16 may contribute to the diversification of eutherians by lineage-specific structural changes after its domestication in the common eutherian ancestor, followed by putative species-specific functional changes that enhanced fitness and occurred as a consequence of complex natural selection events