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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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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.

  6. Evidence for positive selection on the leptin gene in Cetacea and Pinnipedia.

    PubMed

    Yu, Li; Jin, Wei; 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. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  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.

  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. Intra- and Interspecific Interactions as Proximate Determinants of Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Trajectories in the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Feeding adaptation, social behaviour, and interspecific interactions related to sexual dimorphism and allometric growth are particularly challenging to be investigated in the high sexual monomorphic Delphinidae. We used geometric morphometrics to extensively explore sexual dimorphism and ontogenetic allometry of different projections of the skull and the mandible of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two-dimensional landmarks were recorded on the dorsal, ventral, lateral, and occipital views of the skull, and on the lateral view of the left and the right mandible of 104 specimens from the Mediterranean and the North Seas, differing environmental condition and degree of interspecific associations. Landmark configurations were transformed, standardized and superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Size and shape differences between adult males and females were respectively evaluated through ANOVA on centroid size, Procrustes ANOVA on Procrustes distances, and MANOVA on Procrustes coordinates. Ontogenetic allometry was investigated by multivariate regression of shape coordinates on centroid size in the largest homogenous sample from the North Sea. Results evidenced sexual dimorphic asymmetric traits only detected in the adults of the North Sea bottlenose dolphins living in monospecific associations, with females bearing a marked incision of the cavity hosting the left tympanic bulla. These differences were related to a more refined echolocalization system that likely enhances the exploitation of local resources by philopatric females. Distinct shape in immature versus mature stages and asymmetric changes in postnatal allometry of dorsal and occipital traits, suggest that differences between males and females are established early during growth. Allometric growth trajectories differed between males and females for the ventral view of the skull. Allometric trajectories differed among projections of skull and mandible, and were related to dietary shifts experienced by subadults and adults. PMID:27764133

  13. Hearing and whistling in the deep sea: depth influences whistle spectra but does not attenuate hearing by white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) (Odontoceti, Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Ridgway, S H; Carder, D A; Kamolnick, T; Smith, R R; Schlundt, C E; Elsberry, W R

    2001-11-01

    Hearing is attenuated in the aerial ear of humans and other land mammals tested in pressure chambers as a result of middle ear impedance changes that result from increased air density. We tested the hypothesis, based on recent middle ear models, that increasing the density of middle ear air at depth might attenuate whale hearing. Two white whales Delphinapterus leucas made dives to a platform at a depth of 5, 100, 200 or 300 m in the Pacific Ocean. During dives to station on the platform for up to 12 min, the whales whistled in response to 500 ms tones projected at random intervals to assess their hearing threshold at each depth. Analysis of response whistle spectra, whistle latency in response to tones and hearing thresholds showed that the increased hydrostatic pressure at depth changed each whale's whistle response at depth, but did not attenuate hearing overall. The finding that whale hearing is not attenuated at depth suggests that sound is conducted through the head tissues of the whale to the ear without requiring the usual ear drum/ossicular chain amplification of the aerial middle ear. These first ever hearing tests in the open ocean demonstrate that zones of audibility for human-made sounds are just as great throughout the depths to which these whales dive, or at least down to 300 m.

  14. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Giovanni; Di Celma, Claudio; Urbina, Mario; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The Ziphiidae (beaked whales) represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru). The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius) and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon). Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1) a progressive reduction of dentition; (2) an increase in the compactness and thickness of the rostral bones; (3) similar changes in facial morphology (e.g., elevation of the vertex); and (4) an increase of body size. We suggest that these trends may be linked to a convergent ecological shift to deep diving and suction feeding.

  15. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti)

    PubMed Central

    Urbina, Mario; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The Ziphiidae (beaked whales) represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru). The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius) and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon). Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1) a progressive reduction of dentition; (2) an increase in the compactness and thickness of the rostral bones; (3) similar changes in facial morphology (e.g., elevation of the vertex); and (4) an increase of body size. We suggest that these trends may be linked to a convergent ecological shift to deep diving and suction feeding. PMID:27688973

  16. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti)

    PubMed Central

    Urbina, Mario; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The Ziphiidae (beaked whales) represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru). The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius) and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon). Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1) a progressive reduction of dentition; (2) an increase in the compactness and thickness of the rostral bones; (3) similar changes in facial morphology (e.g., elevation of the vertex); and (4) an increase of body size. We suggest that these trends may be linked to a convergent ecological shift to deep diving and suction feeding.

  17. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Giovanni; Di Celma, Claudio; Urbina, Mario; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The Ziphiidae (beaked whales) represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru). The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius) and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon). Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1) a progressive reduction of dentition; (2) an increase in the compactness and thickness of the rostral bones; (3) similar changes in facial morphology (e.g., elevation of the vertex); and (4) an increase of body size. We suggest that these trends may be linked to a convergent ecological shift to deep diving and suction feeding. PMID:27688973

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2006-12-01

    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.

  5. A new Eocene archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from India and the time of origin of whales.

    PubMed

    Bajpai, S; Gingerich, P D

    1998-12-22

    Himalayacetus subathuensis is a new pakicetid archaeocete from the Subathu Formation of northern India. The type dentary has a small mandibular canal indicating a lack of auditory specializations seen in more advanced cetaceans, and it has Pakicetus-like molar teeth suggesting that it fed on fish. Himalayacetus is significant because it is the oldest archaeocete known and because it was found in marine strata associated with a marine fauna. Himalayacetus extends the fossil record of whales about 3.5 million years back in geological time, to the middle part of the early Eocene [ approximately 53.5 million years ago (Ma)]. Oxygen in the tooth-enamel phosphate has an isotopic composition intermediate between values reported for freshwater and marine archaeocetes, indicating that Himalayacetus probably spent some time in both environments. When the temporal range of Archaeoceti is calibrated radiometrically, comparison of likelihoods constrains the time of origin of Archaeoceti and hence Cetacea to about 54-55 Ma (beginning of the Eocene), whereas their divergence from extant Artiodactyla may have been as early as 64-65 Ma (beginning of the Cenozoic).

  6. The internal carotid artery does not directly supply the brain in the Monodontidae (order Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Vogl, A W; Fisher, H D

    1981-11-01

    In this paper we describe the gross and microscopic anatomy of the internal carotid artery and demonstrate that this vessel does not directly supply blood to the brain, in the Monodontidae (order Cetacea). Our account is based on gross dissections and perfusion casts of the arterial vasculature in Delphinapterus leucas and Monodon monoceros and on histological material from the latter species. The internal carotid artery originates low in the neck and extends to the carotid rete at the base of the brain. The vessel tapers dramatically along its cervical course and changes from an artery elastic in nature to one more muscular. A single large cervical branch occurs in D. leucas and supplies cerebrally related retia in this region and prevertebral muscles. No cervical branches occur in M. monoceros. In otic regions, the internal carotid artery is small and muscular. A lumen is present; however, a split internal and external elastic lamella and a thickened subendothelial layer are evident. Though patent in the neck and ear, the vessel appears occluded within the carotid canal. At this level, the vessel is characterized by absence of a lumen and by fragmented elastic lamellae. We conclude that the internal carotid artery is anatomically closed at a level just proximal to the carotid rete and hence has no direct involvement with cerebral blood supply in the Monodontidae. Our results confirm other investigators' work on smaller cetacean species. PMID:7299829

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Phylogeny of the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (Ziphiidae: Cetacea) revealed by nuclear introns: implications for the evolution of male tusks.

    PubMed

    Dalebout, Merel L; Steel, Debbie; Baker, C Scott

    2008-12-01

    With 14 species currently recognized, the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (family Ziphiidae) is the most speciose in the order Cetacea. Beaked whales are widely distributed but are rarely seen at sea due to their oceanic distribution, deep-diving capacity, and apparent low abundance. Morphological differentiation among Mesoplodon species is relatively limited, with the exception of tooth form in adult males. Based on scarring patterns, males appear to use their tusk-like teeth as weapons in aggressive encounters with other males. Females are effectively toothless. We used sequences from seven nuclear introns (3348 base pairs) to construct a robust and highly resolved phylogeny, which was then used as a framework to test predictions from four hypotheses seeking to explain patterns of Mesoplodon tusk morphology and/or the processes that have driven the diversification of this genus: (1) linear progression of tusk form; (2) allopatric speciation through isolation in adjacent deep-sea canyons; (3) sympatric speciation through sexual selection on tusks; and (4) selection for species-recognition cues. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian reconstructions confirmed the monophyly of the genus and revealed that what were considered ancestral and derived tusk forms have in fact arisen independently on several occasions, contrary to predictions from the linear-progression hypothesis. Further, none of the three well-supported species clades was confined to a single ocean basin, as might have been expected from the deep-sea canyon-isolation or sexual-selection hypotheses, and some species with similar tusks have overlapping distributions, contrary to predictions from the species-recognition hypothesis. However, the divergent tusk forms and sympatric distributions of three of the four sister-species pairs identified suggest that sexual selection on male tusks has likely played an important role in this unique radiation, although other forces are clearly also involved. To our knowledge

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Phylogenomic analyses and improved resolution of Cetartiodactyla.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuming; Xu, Shixia; Yang, Yunxia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2011-11-01

    The remarkable antiquity, diversity, and significance in the ecology and evolution of Cetartiodactyla have inspired numerous attempts to resolve their phylogenetic relationships. However, previous analyses based on limited samples of nuclear genes or mitochondrial DNA sequences have generated results that were either inconsistent with one another, weakly supported, or highly sensitive to analytical conditions. Here, we present strongly supported results based upon over 1.4 Mb of an aligned DNA sequence matrix from 110 single-copy nuclear protein-coding genes of 21 Cetartiodactyla species, which represent major Cetartiodactyla lineages, and three species of Perissodactyla and Carnivora as outgroups. Phylogenetic analysis of this newly developed genomic sequence data using a codon-based model and recently developed models of the rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major cetartiodactylan lineages and of those lineages with a high degree of confidence. Cetacea was found to nest within Artiodactyla as the sister group of Hippopotamidae, and Tylopoda was corroborated as the sole base clade of Cetartiodactyla. Within Cetacea, the monophyletic status of Odontoceti relative to Mysticeti, the basal position of Physeteroidea in Odontoceti, the non-monophyly of the river dolphins, and the sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae+Phocoenidae were strongly supported. In particular, the groups of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins) and Stenella (spotted dolphins) were validated as unnatural groups. Additionally, a very narrow time frame of ∼3 My (million years) was found for the rapid diversification of delphinids in the late Miocene, which made it difficult to resolve the phylogenetic relationships within the Delphinidae, especially for previous studies with limited data sets. The present study provides a statistically well-supported phylogenetic framework of Cetartiodactyla, which represents an important step toward ending some of

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Sensory Hairs in the Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus (Cetacea, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Drake, Summer E; Crish, Samuel D; George, John C; Stimmelmayr, Raphaella; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-07-01

    We studied the histology and morphometrics of the hairs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). These whales are hairless except for two patches of more than 300 hairs on the rostral tip of the lower lip and chin, the rostral tip of the upper lip, and a bilateral row of approximately ten hairs caudal to the blowhole. Histological data indicate that hairs in all three of these areas are vibrissae: they show an outermost connective tissue capsule, a circumferential blood sinus system surrounding the hair shaft, and dense innervation to the follicle. Morphometric data were collected on hair diameters, epidermal recess diameters, hair follicle length, and external hair lengths. The main difference between the hairs in the different regions is that blowhole hairs have larger diameters than the hairs in the chin and rostrum regions. We speculate that the hair shaft thickness patterns in bowheads reflect functional specializations.

  4. Molecular genetic identification of southern hemisphere beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae).

    PubMed

    Dalebout, M L; Helden, A V; van Waerebeek, K; Baker, C S

    1998-06-01

    To assist in the species-level identification of stranded and hunted beaked whales, we compiled a database of 'reference' sequences from the mitochondrial DNA control region for 15 of the 20 described ziphiid species. Reference samples for eight species were obtained from stranded animals in New Zealand and South Australia. Sequences for a further seven species were obtained from a previously published report. This database was used to identify 20 'test' samples obtained from incompletely documented strandings around New Zealand. Analyses showed that four of these 'test' specimens (20%) had initially been misidentified. These included two animals of particular interest: (i) a Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), the first record of this species in New Zealand waters; and, (ii) a juvenile Andrews' beaked whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini), a species known from just over 20 strandings worldwide. A published sequence from a beaked whale product purchased in the Republic of Korea was identified as a Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Levels of intra- and interspecific variation were compared to determine the potential for misidentification when the database or taxonomy is incomplete. Intraspecific variation was generally < 2%, and interspecific divergence was generally > 4.7%. Exceptions were within-species variation in Hyperoodon planifrons, southern bottlenosed whale (4.12%), which exceeded the variation between the two species of Berardius (3.78%), and variation between the two specimens assigned to M. hectori, Hector's beaked whale (7.14%). The latter case appears to be an error in species identification, and could represent the discovery of a new species of beaked whale.

  5. On the olfactory anatomy in an archaic whale (Protocetidae, Cetacea) and the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Balaenopteridae, Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Geisler, Jonathan; Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2013-02-01

    The structure of the olfactory apparatus is not well known in both archaic and extant whales; the result of poor preservation in most fossils and locational isolation deep within the skulls in both fossil and Recent taxa. Several specimens now shed additional light on the subject. A partial skull of an archaic cetacean is reported from the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA. The specimen probably derives from the upper middle Eocene (Piney Point Formation) and is tentatively assigned to the Protocetidae. Uncrushed cranial cavities associated with the olfactory apparatus were devoid of sediment. CT scans clearly reveal the dorsal nasal meatus, ethmoturbinates within the olfactory recess, the cribriform plate, the area occupied by the olfactory bulbs, and the olfactory nerve tract. Several sectioned skulls of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were also examined, and olfactory structures are remarkably similar to those observed in the fossil skull from the Pamunkey River. One important difference between the two is that the fossil specimen has an elongate olfactory nerve tract. The more forward position of the external nares in extant balaenopterids when compared with those of extant odontocetes is interpreted to be the result of the need to retain a functional olfactory apparatus and the forward position of the supraoccipital/cranial vertex. An increase in the distance between the occipital condyles and the vertex in balaenopterids enhances the mechanical advantage of the epaxial musculature that inserts on the occiput, a specialization that likely stabilizes the head of these enormous mammals during lunge feeding.

  6. The vestigial olfactory receptor subgenome of odontocete whales: phylogenetic congruence between gene-tree reconciliation and supermatrix methods.

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R; Clark, Clay; Gatesy, John

    2008-08-01

    The macroevolutionary transition of whales (cetaceans) from a terrestrial quadruped to an obligate aquatic form involved major changes in sensory abilities. Compared to terrestrial mammals, the olfactory system of baleen whales is dramatically reduced, and in toothed whales is completely absent. We sampled the olfactory receptor (OR) subgenomes of eight cetacean species from four families. A multigene tree of 115 newly characterized OR sequences from these eight species and published data for Bos taurus revealed a diverse array of class II OR paralogues in Cetacea. Evolution of the OR gene superfamily in toothed whales (Odontoceti) featured a multitude of independent pseudogenization events, supporting anatomical evidence that odontocetes have lost their olfactory sense. We explored the phylogenetic utility of OR pseudogenes in Cetacea, concentrating on delphinids (oceanic dolphins), the product of a rapid evolutionary radiation that has been difficult to resolve in previous studies of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of OR pseudogenes using both gene-tree reconciliation and supermatrix methods yielded fully resolved, consistently supported relationships among members of four delphinid subfamilies. Alternative minimizations of gene duplications, gene duplications plus gene losses, deep coalescence events, and nucleotide substitutions plus indels returned highly congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. Novel DNA sequence data for six single-copy nuclear loci and three mitochondrial genes (> 5000 aligned nucleotides) provided an independent test of the OR trees. Nucleotide substitutions and indels in OR pseudogenes showed a very low degree of homoplasy in comparison to mitochondrial DNA and, on average, provided more variation than single-copy nuclear DNA. Our results suggest that phylogenetic analysis of the large OR superfamily will be effective for resolving relationships within Cetacea whether supermatrix or gene-tree reconciliation procedures are

  7. 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

  8. Development of the cetacean nasal skull.

    PubMed

    Klima, M

    1999-01-01

    processus paraseptalis posterior, the crista semicircularis, the frontoturbinale, the ethmoturbinale I and the maxilloturbinale. The cartilaginous structures are largely accompanied by the dermal bone, the maxillare. Of these embryonic elements, very little is preserved in adult cetaceans. The cartilages of the cupula nasi anterior form the variable skeleton around the nostrils. In Physeter the tectum nasi forms a very long cartilaginous bar that passes through the whole giant anterior head of the sperm whale as a structure accompanying the left nasal passage. 3. The anterior side wall structures. These include the cartilaginous structures, viz., the cartilago ductus nasopalatini, the cartilago paraseptalis, the processus lateralis ventralis and the lamina transversalis anterior, accompanied by the dermal bones, the praemaxillare and the vomer. These structures participate in the formation of the robust rostrum of the cetacean skull, and they are partly preserved even in adults in the form of the isolated ossa pararostralia (the Meckelian ossicles). The comparison of morphogeny of the nasal skull has also made it possible to draw certain conclusions on the phylogeny and systematics of Cetacea. Already the earliest embryonic stages permit us to discern weighty transformations of the original nasal skull of land mammals. These transformations are common to all embryos examined. This fact indicates a common origin of all Cetacea, which thus form a single monophyletic order. However, later embryonic stages show some different modifications of the nasal capsule according to which at least three major groups can be distinguished within the order Cetacea, probably ranking as superfamilies: Balaenopteroidea, Physeteroidea and Delphinoidea. Our observations, being in full accordance with other morphological, and embryological, as well as molecular biological results, suggest that the division of the order Cetacea into two suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti, is no longer tenable.

  9. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hulbert, R.C.; 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.

  11. Tongue and hyoid musculature and functional morphology of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtius robustus).

    PubMed

    Kienle, Sarah S; Ekdale, Eric G; Reidenberg, Joy S; Deméré, Tom A

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about the anatomy and musculature of the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), especially related to the anatomy of the tongue and hyoid region. The recovery of an extremely fresh head of a neonatal female gray whale provided an opportunity to conduct the first in-depth investigation of the musculoskeletal features of the tongue and hyoid apparatus. Unlike other mysticetes, the gray whale tongue is strong, muscular, and freely mobile inside the buccal cavity. In particular, the genioglossus and hyoglossus muscles are extremely large and robust making up the majority of the body of the tongue. In addition, the genioglossus had a unique position and fiber orientation in the tongue compared to other mammals. The structure of the hyoid apparatus differs between E. robustus and other mysticete species, although there are similarities among individual elements. We provide the first documentation of fungiform papillae that may be associated with taste buds in Mysticeti. The highly mobile, robust tongue and the presence of well-defined tongue and hyoid musculature are in keeping with observations of gray whale feeding that suggest this group of whales utilize oral suction to draw benthic prey into the buccal cavity.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Pakicetus inachus and the origin of whales and dolphins (Mammalia: Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Oelschläger, H A

    1987-01-01

    The present paper is concerned with the comparative morphology of the archeocete and odontocete skull. Among the archeocetes, the recently described lower Eocene Pakicetus inachus obviously represents an early stage of adaptation to aquatic life. The morphology of the incomplete cranial remains, however, gives no evidence that Pakicetus was an amphibious intermediate stage. The evolution of advanced archeocetes and odontocetes is characterized by the successive acquirement of new morphological devices related to the emission and perception of ultrasound under water. The formation of a sonar system in odontocetes obviously not only helped to compensate for the loss of the peripheral olfactory system but moreover was a substantial factor in the evolution of the exceptional dolphin brain.

  16. Arterial circulation of the spinal cord and brain in the Monodontidae (order Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Vogl, A W; Fisher, H D

    1981-11-01

    In this paper we document retial supply of the spinal cord and describe the arterial vascular pattern of the brain in the whale family Monodontidae. Observations are based on gross dissections of four brains, two each of Monodon monoceros and Delphinapterus leucas, and one spinal cord from M. monoceros. Vessels of the spinal cord arise from extradural retia in the neural canal. Arteries originating from the retia penetrate the dura between successive spinal roots (mainly ventral) and not in association with them, unlike radicular arteries of other mammals. Also, these vessels are uniformly distributed and contribute equally to a plexus surrounding the cord. An A. radicularis magna is not present, and neither are distinct anterior or posterior spinal arteries. Circulation to the brain is effected by two pairs of arteries originating from intracranial retia. The rostral pair supplies most of the forebrain (prosencephalon), whereas the more caudal pair supplies mainly the midbrain (mesencephalon) and hindbrain (rhombencephalon). The circulatory pattern is characterized by 1) complete independence of anterior cerebral arteries (no anastomoses); 2) extensive cortical supply by the anterior choroidal arteries; 3) absence of subdural communicating vessels between rostral and caudal trunks; 4) union of caudal trunks to form a small basilar artery; and 5) absence of vertebral arteries and hence of a vertebral basilar system. There are some obvious differences between subdural arteries in the Monodontidae and those in other mammals; however, their general patterns of distribution are similar, and we suggest that most of the vessels, at least in the cranium, are homologous. PMID:7299826

  17. Deep-diving behaviour of the northern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus (Cetacea: Ziphiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hooker, S. K.; Baird, R. W.

    1999-01-01

    Using suction-cup attached time–depth recorder/VHF radio tags, we have obtained the first diving data on northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus), the first such data on any species within the family Ziphiidae. Two deployments in 1997 on northern bottlenose whales in a submarine canyon off Nova Scotia demonstrated their exceptional diving ability, with dives approximately every 80 min to over 800 m (maximum 1453 m), and up to 70 min in duration. Sonar traces of non-tagged, diving bottlenose whales in 1996 and 1997 suggest that such deep dives are not unusual. This combined evidence leads us to hypothesize that these whales may make greater use of deep portions of the water column than any other mammal so far studied. Many of the recorded dives of the tagged animals were to, or close to, the sea floor, consistent with benthic or bathypelagic foraging. A lack of correlation between dive times and surface intervals suggests that the dives were predominately aerobic.

  18. Population density of Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in the Cananéia region, Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Havukainen, Liisa; Monteiro, Emygdio Leite de Araujo Fiho; Filla, Gislaine de Fatima

    2011-09-01

    Population density in cetaceans can be estimated through photo-identification, mark-recapture, land-based observations and visual estimative. We the aim to contribute with conservation strategies, we used line transects (distance method) to estimate the population density of the river dolphin, S. guianensis, in the estuarine region of Cananéia, Southeastern Brazil. The study, developed from May 2003 until April 2004, during dry and rainy seasons and different times of the day, included a sampling area divided into three sectors according to their proximity to the open sea: Sector I (the closest to the open sea); Sector II (with a large flow of fresh water and a salient declivity); and Sector III (with a large flow of fresh water and non salient declivity). Onboard random sampling was carried out in all three sectors, and dolphins seen from the bow to 90 degrees on both port and starboard sides, were registered along with their position and distance from the boat. The total density found was 12.41 ind/km2 (CV = 25.53%) with an average of 2.2 individuals per group for both periods of the day, morning and afternoon. Densities also varied between dry and rainy seasons, being lower in the first with 5.77 ind/km2 (CV = 27.87%) than in the second 20.28 ind/km2 (CV = 31.95%), respectively. Regarding the three sectors, a non-causal heterogeneous distribution was found: Sector I was the most populated (D = 33.10 ind/km2, CV = 13.34%), followed by Sector II (D = 7.8 ind/km2, CV = 21.07%) and Sector III (D = 3.04 ind/km2, CV = 34.04%). The aforementioned area, due to its proximity to the open sea, has the highest salinity level and therefore has the greatest chance of holding most of the marine fish schools which can be cornered by dolphins on high declivity areas during fishing activities. This suggests that food availability may be the most important factor on the river dolphin's distribution in the estuary. Similar studies will contribute to a better understanding of these populations and are essential for future conservation strategies.

  19. Matriarchal genetic population structure of North American beluga whales Delphinapterus leucas (Cetacea: Monodontidae).

    PubMed

    Brown Gladden, J G; Ferguson, M M; Clayton, J W

    1997-11-01

    The North American beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas population has been divided into a number of putative geographical stocks based upon migration routes and areas of summer concentration. Nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region were used to assess whether these geographical stocks are genetically distinct. Beluga whale samples from 25 sites were collected primarily from aboriginal subsistence hunts across North America from 1984 to 1994. Thirty-nine mtDNA haplotypes were identified in 628 beluga samples. No differences were found in the distribution of haplotypes between male and female beluga whales at any sampling site. These haplotypes segregated into two distinct assemblages in both a haplotype network and a neighbour-joining tree. The haplotype assemblages and a geographically disjunct distribution that suggests postglacial recolonization of the North American Arctic from two different refugia. An analysis of molecular variance based on haplotype relationships and frequency indicated genetic heterogeneity among beluga whale summering groups (P < or = 0.001). Sequence divergence estimates between sampling sites also indicated geographical differentiation, particularly between samples taken at east Hudson Bay or St Lawrence River and the western or central Arctic. The results of this study show a high degree of philopatry to specific summering areas by this highly mobile animal.

  20. 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

  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. [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

  3. Relaxed clocks and inferences of heterogeneous patterns of nucleotide substitution and divergence time estimates across whales and dolphins (Mammalia: Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Dornburg, Alex; Brandley, Matthew C; McGowen, Michael R; Near, Thomas J

    2012-02-01

    Various nucleotide substitution models have been developed to accommodate among lineage rate heterogeneity, thereby relaxing the assumptions of the strict molecular clock. Recently developed "uncorrelated relaxed clock" and "random local clock" (RLC) models allow decoupling of nucleotide substitution rates between descendant lineages and are thus predicted to perform better in the presence of lineage-specific rate heterogeneity. However, it is uncertain how these models perform in the presence of punctuated shifts in substitution rate, especially between closely related clades. Using cetaceans (whales and dolphins) as a case study, we test the performance of these two substitution models in estimating both molecular rates and divergence times in the presence of substantial lineage-specific rate heterogeneity. Our RLC analyses of whole mitochondrial genome alignments find evidence for up to ten clade-specific nucleotide substitution rate shifts in cetaceans. We provide evidence that in the uncorrelated relaxed clock framework, a punctuated shift in the rate of molecular evolution within a subclade results in posterior rate estimates that are either misled or intermediate between the disparate rate classes present in baleen and toothed whales. Using simulations, we demonstrate abrupt changes in rate isolated to one or a few lineages in the phylogeny can mislead rate and age estimation, even when the node of interest is calibrated. We further demonstrate how increasing prior age uncertainty can bias rate and age estimates, even while the 95% highest posterior density around age estimates decreases; in other words, increased precision for an inaccurate estimate. We interpret the use of external calibrations in divergence time studies in light of these results, suggesting that rate shifts at deep time scales may mislead inferences of absolute molecular rates and ages.

  4. Population histories of right whales (Cetacea: Eubalaena) inferred from mitochondrial sequence diversities and divergences of their whale lice (Amphipoda: Cyamus).

    PubMed

    Kaliszewska, Zofia A; Seger, Jon; Rowntree, Victoria J; Barco, Susan G; Benegas, Rafael; Best, Peter B; Brown, Moira W; Brownell, Robert L; Carribero, Alejandro; Harcourt, Robert; Knowlton, Amy R; Marshall-Tilas, Kim; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Rivarola, Mariana; Schaeff, Catherine M; Sironi, Mariano; Smith, Wendy A; Yamada, Tadasu K

    2005-10-01

    Right whales carry large populations of three 'whale lice' (Cyamus ovalis, Cyamus gracilis, Cyamus erraticus) that have no other hosts. We used sequence variation in the mitochondrial COI gene to ask (i) whether cyamid population structures might reveal associations among right whale individuals and subpopulations, (ii) whether the divergences of the three nominally conspecific cyamid species on North Atlantic, North Pacific, and southern right whales (Eubalaena glacialis, Eubalaena japonica, Eubalaena australis) might indicate their times of separation, and (iii) whether the shapes of cyamid gene trees might contain information about changes in the population sizes of right whales. We found high levels of nucleotide diversity but almost no population structure within oceans, indicating large effective population sizes and high rates of transfer between whales and subpopulations. North Atlantic and Southern Ocean populations of all three species are reciprocally monophyletic, and North Pacific C. erraticus is well separated from North Atlantic and southern C. erraticus. Mitochondrial clock calibrations suggest that these divergences occurred around 6 million years ago (Ma), and that the Eubalaena mitochondrial clock is very slow. North Pacific C. ovalis forms a clade inside the southern C. ovalis gene tree, implying that at least one right whale has crossed the equator in the Pacific Ocean within the last 1-2 million years (Myr). Low-frequency polymorphisms are more common than expected under neutrality for populations of constant size, but there is no obvious signal of rapid, interspecifically congruent expansion of the kind that would be expected if North Atlantic or southern right whales had experienced a prolonged population bottleneck within the last 0.5 Myr.

  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.

  6. 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

  7. Morphogenesis and morphology of the brain stem nuclei of Cetacea. II. The nuclei of the accessory, vagal and glossopharyngeal nerves in baleen whales.

    PubMed

    Jansen, J; Osen, K K

    1984-01-01

    The development and final structure of the IXth, Xth and XIth cranial nerve nuclei are studied in ironhematoxylin -, thionin - and protargol -stained serial sections of about 50 baleen whale fetuses (blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, and fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus ) and one adult fin whale. The nucleus ambiguus is composed of three subdivisions, oral, intermediate and caudal, the last mentioned being contiguous caudally with the dorsal motor Xth nucleus. The oral division develops as three parallel cell columns which merge into a well circumscribed solitary structure with a rostrally expanded "head". It is composed of medium-sized multipolar neurons in a myelin-poor neuropil. In the fin whale a minor group of larger cells is found medial to the "head". In both species a peculiar small-celled nucleus rich in capillaries is found ventral to the "head". The intermediate division initially contains a lateral cell column and a medial region of scattered cells. The lateral column persists throughout life, while the medial field develops into three columns only one of which remains distinct in mature individuals. The cells are larger than in the oral division with the largest cells in the medial column. The two columns are surrounded by a field of scattered neurons which continues without a sharp border into the caudal division which is composed of scattered cells throughout. In its rostral half the cells are of the same multipolar type as in the intermediate division while caudally they appear flattened in the horizontal plane. The dorsal motor Xth nucleus develops as three longitudinal columns. In the fetal brain these are cytologically distinct due to different proportions of small, medium-sized and larger multipolar neurons. The spindle-shaped ventromedial column extends the entire length of the nucleus. It is composed mostly of small to medium-sized cells which caudal to the obex are elongated parallel with the neuroaxis . The dorsolateral and ventrolateral columns are restricted to the middle 1/3 of the nucleus, except in the blue whale where the former extends somewhat more rostrally. They are both characterized by the presence of large multipolar cells, the largest of which are found in the ventrolateral column. In adult specimens the cells are more equally sized and the columnar organization less distinct. The nucleus of the tractus solitarius is of about the same length as the two above mentioned nuclei. Except at the very early stages, the nucleus is ill-defined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  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

    2016-08-22

    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.

  9. Structure and growth pattern of the bizarre hemispheric prominence on the rostrum of the fossil beaked whale Globicetus hiberus (Mammalia, Cetacea, Ziphiidae).

    PubMed

    Dumont, Maïtena; de Buffrénil, Vivian; Miján, Ismael; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-10-01

    The rostrum of most ziphiids (beaked whales) displays bizarre swollen regions, accompanied with extreme hypermineralisation and an alteration of the collagenous mesh of the bone. The functional significance of this specialization remains obscure. With the voluminous and dense hemispheric excrescence protruding from the premaxillae, the recently described fossil ziphiid Globicetus hiberus is the most spectacular case. This study describes the histological structure and interprets the growth pattern of this unique feature. Histologically, the prominence in Globicetus is made up of an atypical fibro-lamellar complex displaying an irregular laminar organization and extreme compactness (osteosclerosis). Its development is suggested to have resulted from a protraction of periosteal accretion over the premaxillae, long after the end of somatic growth. Complex shifts in the geometry of this tissue are likely to have occurred during its accretion and no indication of Haversian remodeling could be found. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy indicate that the bone matrix in the premaxillary prominence of Globicetus closely resembles that of the rostrum of the extant beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris: apatite crystals are of common size and strongly oriented, but the collagenous meshwork within bone matrix seems to be extremely sparse. These morphological and structural data are discussed in the light of functional interpretations proposed for the highly unusual and diverse ziphiid rostrum. J. Morphol. 277:1292-1308, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [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

  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. Structure and growth pattern of the bizarre hemispheric prominence on the rostrum of the fossil beaked whale Globicetus hiberus (Mammalia, Cetacea, Ziphiidae).

    PubMed

    Dumont, Maïtena; de Buffrénil, Vivian; Miján, Ismael; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-10-01

    The rostrum of most ziphiids (beaked whales) displays bizarre swollen regions, accompanied with extreme hypermineralisation and an alteration of the collagenous mesh of the bone. The functional significance of this specialization remains obscure. With the voluminous and dense hemispheric excrescence protruding from the premaxillae, the recently described fossil ziphiid Globicetus hiberus is the most spectacular case. This study describes the histological structure and interprets the growth pattern of this unique feature. Histologically, the prominence in Globicetus is made up of an atypical fibro-lamellar complex displaying an irregular laminar organization and extreme compactness (osteosclerosis). Its development is suggested to have resulted from a protraction of periosteal accretion over the premaxillae, long after the end of somatic growth. Complex shifts in the geometry of this tissue are likely to have occurred during its accretion and no indication of Haversian remodeling could be found. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy indicate that the bone matrix in the premaxillary prominence of Globicetus closely resembles that of the rostrum of the extant beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris: apatite crystals are of common size and strongly oriented, but the collagenous meshwork within bone matrix seems to be extremely sparse. These morphological and structural data are discussed in the light of functional interpretations proposed for the highly unusual and diverse ziphiid rostrum. J. Morphol. 277:1292-1308, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27418018

  15. 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

  16. Passive restriction of blood flow and counter-current heat exchange via lingual retia in the tongue of a neonatal gray whale Eschrichtius robustus (Cetacea, Mysticeti).

    PubMed

    Ekdale, Eric G; Kienle, Sarah S

    2015-04-01

    Retia mirabilia play broad roles in cetacean physiology, including thermoregulation during feeding and pressure regulations during diving. Vascular bundles of lingual retia are described within the base of the tongue of a neonatal female gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). Each rete consists of a central artery surrounded by four to six smaller veins. The retia and constituent vessels decrease in diameter as they extend anteriorly within the hyoglossus muscle from a position anterior to the basihyal cartilage toward the apex of the tongue. The position of the retia embedded in the hyoglossus and the anterior constriction of the vessels differs from reports of similar vascular bundles that were previously identified in gray whales. The retia likely serve as a counter-current heat exchange system to control body temperature during feeding. Cold blood flowing toward the body center within the periarterial veins would accept heat from warm blood in the central artery flowing toward the anterior end of the tongue. Although thermoregulatory systems have been identified within the mouths of a few mysticete species, the distribution of such vascular structures likely is more widespread among baleen whales than has previously been described.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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,...

  5. 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,...

  6. 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,...

  7. 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,...

  8. 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,...

  9. 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

  10. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast.

    PubMed

    Alfonsi, Eric; Méheust, Eleonore; Fuchs, Sandra; Carpentier, François-Gilles; Quillivic, Yann; Viricel, Amélia; Hassani, Sami; Jung, Jean-Luc

    2013-12-30

    In the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds stranded along the Atlantic coast of Brittany in the North West of France. All species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year in this area. Based on reports from the stranding network operating along this coast, the most common stranding events comprise six cetacean species (Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Phocoena phocoena)and one pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus). Rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals. In this study, our aim was to determine the potential contribution of DNA barcoding to the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity as performed by the stranding network. We sequenced more than 500 bp of the 5' end of the mitochondrial COI gene of 89 animals of 15 different species (12 cetaceans, and three pinnipeds). Except for members of the Delphininae, all species were unambiguously discriminated on the basis of their COI sequences. We then applied DNA barcoding to identify some "undetermined" samples. With again the exception of the Delphininae, this was successful using the BOLD identification engine. For samples of the Delphininae, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial control region (MCR), and using a non-metric multidimentional scaling plot and posterior probability calculations we were able to determine putatively each species. We then showed, in the case of the harbour porpoise, that COI polymorphisms, although being lower than MCR ones, could also be used to assess intraspecific variability. All these results show that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network could clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity. PMID:24453548

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast

    PubMed Central

    Alfonsi, Eric; Méheust, Eleonore; Fuchs, Sandra; Carpentier, François-Gilles; Quillivic, Yann; Viricel, Amélia; Hassani, Sami; Jung, Jean-Luc

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds stranded along the Atlantic coast of Brittany in the North West of France. All species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year in this area. Based on reports from the stranding network operating along this coast, the most common stranding events comprise six cetacean species (Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Phocoena phocoena)and one pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus). Rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals. In this study, our aim was to determine the potential contribution of DNA barcoding to the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity as performed by the stranding network. We sequenced more than 500 bp of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial COI gene of 89 animals of 15 different species (12 cetaceans, and three pinnipeds). Except for members of the Delphininae, all species were unambiguously discriminated on the basis of their COI sequences. We then applied DNA barcoding to identify some “undetermined” samples. With again the exception of the Delphininae, this was successful using the BOLD identification engine. For samples of the Delphininae, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial control region (MCR), and using a non-metric multidimentional scaling plot and posterior probability calculations we were able to determine putatively each species. We then showed, in the case of the harbour porpoise, that COI polymorphisms, although being lower than MCR ones, could also be used to assess intraspecific variability. All these results show that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network could clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity. PMID:24453548

  14. 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

  15. 76 FR 9250 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-17

    ... Fin whale........ Endangered. B. musculus Blue whale....... Endangered. Suborder Odontoceti (toothed... for this activity, which was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 (74 FR 33960... action contained in the proposed rule (74 FR 33960; July 14, 2009; pages 33961-33962) has not...

  16. 77 FR 12010 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Navy Research, Development, Test and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-28

    ... Atlantic right whale, sei whale, fin whale, blue whale, and sperm whale. Of these 29 species with..., sei whale, fin whale, blue whale, minke whale, and True's beaked whale) are extralimital and are......... Endangered. ] B. musculus Blue whale..... Endangered. Suborder Odontoceti (toothed......

  17. 77 FR 49412 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Navy Research, Development, Test and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-16

    ... Atlantic right whale, sei whale, fin whale, blue whale, and sperm whale. Of these 29 species with..., sei whale, fin whale, blue whale, minke whale, and True's beaked whale) are extralimital and are... whale........ Endangered. B. musculus Blue whale....... Endangered. Suborder Odontoceti......

  18. 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).…

  19. Analyses of mitochondrial genomes strongly support a hippopotamus-whale clade.

    PubMed

    Ursing, B M; Arnason, U

    1998-12-01

    Although the sister-group relationship between Cetacea and Artiodactyla is widely accepted, the actual artiodactyl group which is closest to Cetacea has not been conclusively identified. In the present study, we have sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, and included it in phylogenetic analyses together with 15 other placental mammals. These analyses separated the hippopotamus from the other suiform included, the pig, and identified the hippopotamus as the artiodactyl sister group of the cetaceans, thereby making both. Artiodactyla and the suborder. Suiformes paraphyletic. The divergence between the hippopotamid and cetacean lineages was calculated using this molecular data and was estimated at ca. 54 Ma BP.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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),…

  3. 50 CFR 14.22 - Certain antique articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... purpose, any article (other than scrimshaw, defined in 16 U.S.C 1539(f)(1)(B) and 50 CFR 217.12 as any art... designs from, any bone or tooth of any marine mammal of the order Cetacea) that is at least 100 years...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Cross-species chromosome painting in Cetartiodactyla: reconstructing the karyotype evolution in key phylogenetic lineages.

    PubMed

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Perelman, Polina L; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Volobuev, Vitaly; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Stanyon, Roscoe; Yang, Fengtang; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Recent molecular and morphological studies place Artiodactyla and Cetacea into the order Cetartiodactyla. Within the Cetartiodactyla such families as Bovidae, Cervidae, and Suidae are well studied by comparative chromosome painting, but many taxa that are crucial for understanding cetartiodactyl phylogeny remain poorly studied. Here we present the genome-wide comparative maps of five cetartiodactyl species obtained by chromosome painting with human and dromedary paint probes from four taxa: Cetacea, Hippopotamidae, Giraffidae, and Moschidae. This is the first molecular cytogenetic report on pilot whale, hippopotamus, okapi, and Siberian musk deer. Our results, when integrated with previously published comparative chromosome maps allow us to reconstruct the evolutionary pathway and rates of chromosomal rearrangements in Cetartiodactyla. We hypothesize that the putative cetartiodactyl ancestral karyotype (CAK) contained 25-26 pairs of autosomes, 2n = 52-54, and that the association of human chromosomes 8/9 could be a cytogenetic signature that unites non-camelid cetartiodactyls. There are no unambiguous cytogenetic landmarks that unite Hippopotamidae and Cetacea. If we superimpose chromosome rearrangements on the supertree generated by Price and colleagues, several homoplasy events are needed to explain cetartiodactyl karyotype evolution. Our results apparently favour a model of non-random breakpoints in chromosome evolution. Cetariodactyl karyotype evolution is characterized by alternating periods of low and fast rates in various lineages. The highest rates are found in Suina (Suidae+Tayasuidae) lineage (1.76 rearrangements per million years (R/My)) and the lowest in Cetaceans (0.07 R/My). Our study demonstrates that the combined use of human and camel paints is highly informative for revealing evolutionary karyotypic rearrangements among cetartiodactyl species. PMID:19350402

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Cetacean Acoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Whitlow; Lammers, Marc

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Episodic molecular evolution of pituitary growth hormone in Cetartiodactyla.

    PubMed

    Maniou, Zoitsa; Wallis, O Caryl; Wallis, Michael

    2004-06-01

    The sequence of growth hormone (GH) is generally strongly conserved in mammals, but episodes of rapid change occurred during the evolution of primates and artiodactyls, when the rate of GH evolution apparently increased substantially. As a result the sequences of higher primate and ruminant GHs differ markedly from sequences of other mammalian GHs. In order to increase knowledge of GH evolution in Cetartiodactyla (Artiodactyla plus Cetacea) we have cloned and characterized GH genes from camel (Camelus dromedarius), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), using genomic DNA and a polymerase chain reaction technique. As in other mammals, these GH genes comprise five exons and four introns. Two very similar GH gene sequences (encoding identical proteins) were found in each of hippopotamus and giraffe. The deduced sequence for the mature hippopotamus GH is identical to that of dolphin, in accord with current ideas of a close relationship between Cetacea and Hippopotamidae. The sequence of camel GH is identical to that reported previously for alpaca GH. The sequence of giraffe GH is very similar to that of other ruminants but differs from that of nonruminant cetartiodactyls at about 18 residues. The results demonstrate that the apparent burst of rapid evolution of GH occurred largely after the separation of the line leading to ruminants from other cetartiodactyls. PMID:15461431

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [Characteristics of the acoustic field of interfering reflections and the echolocation hearing of the dolphin].

    PubMed

    Riabov, V A

    2008-01-01

    A model of the acoustic field of interfering reflections from steel cylinders was developed. Analysis of the model showed the availability of great potential resources for a decrease of the influence of unwanted echoes and hence for increasing the signal-to-clatter ratio. The conformity of the available models of the echolocation hearing of the dolphin to the acoustic field of the clatter was considered. The participation of mandidle mental foramens in conducting the echo to the cochlea was considered. In this case the hearing aperture is determined by the dimensions of mental foramens, while the hearing base is determined by the distance between the mental foramens of the left and right mandible halves. There are good reasons to believe that the optimal dimensions of the aperture and the base of echolocation hearing of Odontoceti essentially increase the effectiveness of defense of their sonar from reverberation.

  1. Molecular evolution of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA in Ungulata (mammalia).

    PubMed

    Douzery, E; Catzeflis, F M

    1995-11-01

    The complete 12S rRNA gene has been sequenced in 4 Ungulata (hoofed eutherians) and 1 marsupial and compared to 38 available mammalian sequences in order to investigate the molecular evolution of the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA molecule. Ungulata were represented by one artiodactyl (the collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu, suborder Suiformes), two perissodactyls (the Grevy's zebra, Equus grevyi, suborder Hippomorpha; the white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum, suborder Ceratomorpha), and one hyracoid (the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis). The fifth species was a marsupial, the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Several transition/transversion biases characterized the pattern of changes between mammalian 12S rRNA molecules. A bias toward transitions was found among 12S rRNA sequences of Ungulata, illustrating the general bias exhibited by ribosomal and protein-encoding genes of the mitochondrial genome. The derivation of a mammalian 12S rRNA secondary structure model from the comparison of 43 eutherian and marsupial sequences evidenced a pronounced bias against transversions in stems. Moreover, transversional compensatory changes were rare events within double-stranded regions of the ribosomal RNA. Evolutionary characteristics of the 12S rRNA were compared with those of the nuclear 18S and 28S rRNAs. From a phylogenetic point of view, transitions, transversions and indels in stems as well as transversional and indels events in loops gave congruent results for comparisons within orders. Some compensatory changes in double-stranded regions and some indels in single-stranded regions also constituted diagnostic events. The 12S rRNA molecule confirmed the monophyly of infraorder Pecora and order Cetacea and demonstrated the monophyly of the suborder Ruminantia was not supported and the branching pattern between Cetacea and the artiodacytyl suborders Ruminantia and Suiformes was not established. The monophyly of the order Perissodactyla was evidenced

  2. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Convergence of complex cognitive abilities in cetaceans and primates.

    PubMed

    Marino, Lori

    2002-01-01

    What examples of convergence in higher-level complex cognitive characteristics exist in the animal kingdom? In this paper I will provide evidence that convergent intelligence has occurred in two distantly related mammalian taxa. One of these is the order Cetacea (dolphins, whales and porpoises) and the other is our own order Primates, and in particular the suborder anthropoid primates (monkeys, apes, and humans). Despite a deep evolutionary divergence, adaptation to physically dissimilar environments, and very different neuroanatomical organization, some primates and cetaceans show striking convergence in social behavior, artificial 'language' comprehension, and self-recognition ability. Taken together, these findings have important implications for understanding the generality and specificity of those processes that underlie cognition in different species and the nature of the evolution of intelligence.

  4. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2012-02-23

    The titanic baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) have a bizarre skull morphology, including an elastic mandibular symphysis, which permits dynamic oral cavity expansion during bulk feeding. How this key innovation evolved from the sutured symphysis of archaeocetes has remained unclear. Now, mandibles of the Oligocene toothed mysticete Janjucetus hunderi show that basal mysticetes had an archaeocete-like sutured symphysis. This archaic morphology was paired with a wide rostrum typical of later-diverging baleen whales. This demonstrates that increased oral capacity via rostral widening preceded the evolution of mandibular innovations for filter feeding. Thus, the initial evolution of the mysticetes' unique cranial form and huge mouths was perhaps not linked to filtering plankton, but to enhancing suction feeding on individual prey.

  5. The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution documented on the Indian subcontinent.

    PubMed

    Bajpai, S; Thewissen, J G M; Sahni, A

    2009-11-01

    The origin of whales (order Cetacea) from a four-footed land animal is one of the best understood examples of macroevolutionary change. This evolutionary transition has been substantially elucidated by fossil finds from the Indian subcontinent in the past decade and a half. Here, we review the first steps of whale evolution, i.e. the transition from a land mammal to obligate marine predators, documented by the Eocene cetacean families of the Indian subcontinent: Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, and Basilosauridae, as well as their artiodactyl sister group, the Raoellidae. We also discuss the influence that the excellent fossil record has on the study of the evolution of organ systems, in particular the locomotor and hearing systems.

  6. Whales originated from aquatic artiodactyls in the Eocene epoch of India.

    PubMed

    Thewissen, J G M; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Clementz, Mark T; Bajpai, Sunil; Tiwari, B N

    2007-12-20

    Although the first ten million years of whale evolution are documented by a remarkable series of fossil skeletons, the link to the ancestor of cetaceans has been missing. It was known that whales are related to even-toed ungulates (artiodactyls), but until now no artiodactyls were morphologically close to early whales. Here we show that the Eocene south Asian raoellid artiodactyls are the sister group to whales. The raoellid Indohyus is similar to whales, and unlike other artiodactyls, in the structure of its ears and premolars, in the density of its limb bones and in the stable-oxygen-isotope composition of its teeth. We also show that a major dietary change occurred during the transition from artiodactyls to whales and that raoellids were aquatic waders. This indicates that aquatic life in this lineage occurred before the origin of the order Cetacea.

  7. 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.

  8. A molecular forensic method for identifying species composition of processed marine mammal meats.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Yao, Chiou-Ju; Yu, Hsin-Yi; Liao, Yun-Chih; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong; Tsai, Chi-Li; Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2014-03-01

    We used universal primers designed for the cytochrome oxidase I (CO I) sequence of the order Cetacea and the family Phocidae to prove that meat fritters sold in Taiwan contained meat from two seal, six cetacean, and one pig species. The sequence information for CO I obtained in this study was limited and population genetics data for the eight sampled marine mammalian species was insufficient to deduce where these marine mammals were hunted. Regardless of the geographic origins of the marine mammal flesh, sale and consumption of marine mammals in Taiwan violates the Wildlife Conservation Act. This study provides PCR primers that could enable government testing of suspect meats to curtail the illegal trade in marine mammal products.

  9. 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

  10. Evolving between land and water: key questions on the emergence and history of the Hippopotamidae (Hippopotamoidea, Cetancodonta, Cetartiodactyla).

    PubMed

    Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Fisher, Rebecca E; Lihoreau, Fabrice; Weston, Eleanor M

    2011-08-01

    The fossil record of the Hippopotamidae can shed light on three major issues in mammalian evolution. First, as the Hippopotamidae are the extant sister group of Cetacea, gaining a better understanding of the origin of the Hippopotamidae and of their Paleogene ancestors will be instrumental in clarifying phylogenetic relationships within Cetartiodactyla. Unfortunately, the data relevant to hippopotamid origins have generally been ignored in phylogenetic analyses of cetartiodactyls. In order to obtain better resolution, future analyses should consider hypotheses of hippopotamid Paleogene relationships. Notably, an emergence of the Hippopotamidae from within anthracotheriids has received growing support, leading to reconciliation between genetic and morphological evidence for the clade Cetancodonta (Hippopotamidae + Cetacea). Secondly, full account needs to be taken of the Hippopotamidae when studying the impact of environmental change on faunal evolution. This group of semi-aquatic large herbivores has a clear and distinct ecological role and a diverse and abundant fossil record, particularly in the African Neogene. We examine three major phases of hippopotamid evolution, namely the sudden appearance of hippopotamines in the late Miocene (the "Hippopotamine Event"), the subsequent rampant endemism in African basins, and the Pleistocene expansion of Hippopotamus. Each may have been influenced by multiple factors, including: late Miocene grass expansion, African hydrographical network disruption, and a unique set of adaptations that allowed Hippopotamus to respond efficiently to early Pleistocene environmental change. Thirdly, the fossil record of the Hippopotamidae documents the independent emergence of adaptive character complexes in relation to semiaquatic habits and in response to insular isolation. The semiaquatic specializations of fossil hippopotamids are particularly useful in interpreting the functional morphology and ecology of other, extinct groups of large

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. For whales and seals the ocean is not blue: a visual pigment loss in marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Behrmann, G; Kröger, R H

    2001-04-01

    Most terrestrial mammals have colour vision based on two spectrally different visual pigments located in two types of retinal cone photoreceptors, i.e. they are cone dichromats with long-to-middle-wave-sensitive (commonly green) L-cones and short-wave-sensitive (commonly blue) S-cones. With visual pigment-specific antibodies, we here demonstrate an absence of S-cones in the retinae of all whales and seals studied. The sample includes seven species of toothed whales (Odontoceti) and five species of marine carnivores (eared and earless seals). These marine mammals have only L-cones (cone monochromacy) and hence are essentially colour-blind. For comparison, the study also includes the wolf, ferret and European river otter (Carnivora) as well as the mouflon and pygmy hippopotamus (Artiodactyla), close terrestrial relatives of the seals and whales, respectively. These have a normal complement of S-cones and L-cones. The S-cone loss in marine species from two distant mammalian orders strongly argues for convergent evolution and an adaptive advantage of that trait in the marine visual environment. To us this suggests that the S-cones may have been lost in all whales and seals. However, as the spectral composition of light in clear ocean waters is increasingly blue-shifted with depth, an S-cone loss would seem particularly disadvantageous. We discuss some hypotheses to explain this paradox.

  15. Cetaceans on a molecular fast track to ultrasonic hearing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Rossiter, Stephen J; Han, Xiuqun; Cotton, James A; Zhang, Shuyi

    2010-10-26

    The early radiation of cetaceans coincides with the origin of their defining ecological and sensory differences [1, 2]. Toothed whales (Odontoceti) evolved echolocation for hunting 36-34 million years ago, whereas baleen whales (Mysticeti) evolved filter feeding and do not echolocate [2]. Echolocation in toothed whales demands exceptional high-frequency hearing [3], and both echolocation and ultrasonic hearing have also evolved independently in bats [4, 5]. The motor protein Prestin that drives the electromotility of the outer hair cells (OHCs) is likely to be especially important in ultrasonic hearing, because it is the vibratory response of OHC to incoming sound waves that confers the enhanced sensitivity and selectivity of the mammalian auditory system [6, 7]. Prestin underwent adaptive change early in mammal evolution [8] and also shows sequence convergence between bats and dolphins [9, 10], as well as within bats [11]. Focusing on whales, we show for the first time that the extent of protein evolution in Prestin can be linked directly to the evolution of high-frequency hearing. Moreover, we find that independent cases of sequence convergence in mammals have involved numerous identical amino acid site replacements. Our findings shed new light on the importance of Prestin in the evolution of mammalian hearing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-30

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Brucella ceti and brucellosis in cetaceans.

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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

  2. The Auditory Anatomy of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): A Potential Fatty Sound Reception Pathway in a Baleen Whale

    PubMed Central

    Yamato, Maya; Ketten, Darlene R; Arruda, Julie; Cramer, Scott; Moore, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans possess highly derived auditory systems adapted for underwater hearing. Odontoceti (toothed whales) are thought to receive sound through specialized fat bodies that contact the tympanoperiotic complex, the bones housing the middle and inner ears. However, sound reception pathways remain unknown in Mysticeti (baleen whales), which have very different cranial anatomies compared to odontocetes. Here, we report a potential fatty sound reception pathway in the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a mysticete of the balaenopterid family. The cephalic anatomy of seven minke whales was investigated using computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, verified through dissections. Findings include a large, well-formed fat body lateral, dorsal, and posterior to the mandibular ramus and lateral to the tympanoperiotic complex. This fat body inserts into the tympanoperiotic complex at the lateral aperture between the tympanic and periotic bones and is in contact with the ossicles. There is also a second, smaller body of fat found within the tympanic bone, which contacts the ossicles as well. This is the first analysis of these fatty tissues' association with the auditory structures in a mysticete, providing anatomical evidence that fatty sound reception pathways may not be a unique feature of odontocete cetaceans. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:22488847

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takeshi; Nikaido, Masato; Hamilton, Healy; Goto, Mutsuo; Kato, Hidehiro; Kanda, Naohisa; Pastene, Luis; Cao, Ying; Fordyce, R; Hasegawa, Masami; Okada, Norihiro

    2005-02-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among baleen whales (Order: Cetacea) remain uncertain despite extensive research in cetacean molecular phylogenetics and a potential morphological sample size of over 2 million animals harvested. Questions remain regarding the number of species and the monophyly of genera, as well as higher order relationships. Here, we approach mysticete phylogeny with complete mitochondrial genome sequence analysis. We determined complete mtDNA sequences of 10 extant Mysticeti species, inferred their phylogenetic relationships, and estimated node divergence times. The mtDNA sequence analysis concurs with previous molecular studies in the ordering of the principal branches, with Balaenidae (right whales) as sister to all other mysticetes base, followed by Neobalaenidae (pygmy right whale), Eschrichtiidae (gray whale), and finally Balaenopteridae (rorquals + humpback whale). The mtDNA analysis further suggests that four lineages exist within the clade of Eschrichtiidae + Balaenopteridae, including a sister relationship between the humpback and fin whales, and a monophyletic group formed by the blue, sei, and Bryde's whales, each of which represents a newly recognized phylogenetic relationship in Mysticeti. We also estimated the divergence times of all extant mysticete species, accounting for evolutionary rate heterogeneity among lineages. When the mtDNA divergence estimates are compared with the mysticete fossil record, several lineages have molecular divergence estimates strikingly older than indicated by paleontological data. We suggest this discrepancy reflects both a large amount of ancestral polymorphism and long generation times of ancestral baleen whale populations.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Fetal and early post-natal mineralization of the tympanic bulla in fin whales may reveal a Hitherto undiscovered evolutionary trait.

    PubMed

    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. Morphology of the tracheobronchial tree and the route of the pulmonary artery in the fetal minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

    PubMed

    Kida, M Y

    1998-12-01

    Molecular and statistical studies support the close phylogenetic relation between Cetacea and Artiodactyla. The presence of the tracheal bronchus has been pointed out as one of the common traits between only these groups. Nakakuki (1980) has investigated the mammalian tracheobronchial trees in 50 species based on his new nomenclature, and his study has consequently demonstrated the above-mentioned indication. Therefore, comparative anatomy of the tracheobronchial tree based on the nomenclature seems to be useful for investigations of the cetacean phylogeny. Three pairs of fetal lungs of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were supplied from the Institute of Cetacean Research, Tokyo (1991) to observe their tracheobronchial trees and the ramification of the pulmonary artery. The fetal tracheobronchial tree consisted of one tracheal, four lateral, four dorsal and one medial secondary bronchi in the right lung, and five or six lateral and four or five dorsal secondary bronchi in the left, using the new nomenclature. The right pulmonary artery crossed the right axial bronchus from the ventral side to the dorsal over the third lateral bronchus. The tracheal bronchus in the fetal minke whale seems to belong to the type II of Nakakuki's nomenclature, and this type is seen in one species of the river dolphins. The other conspicuous traits of the fetal lungs are the defect of the second lateral broncus and the route of the pulmonary artery in the right side. This route is very different from that of many other mammals.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Fetal and early post-natal mineralization of the tympanic bulla in fin whales may reveal a Hitherto undiscovered evolutionary trait.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Cetacean sleep: an unusual form of mammalian sleep.

    PubMed

    Lyamin, Oleg I; Manger, Paul R; Ridgway, Sam H; Mukhametov, Lev M; Siegel, Jerome M

    2008-10-01

    Our knowledge of the form of lateralized sleep behavior, known as unihemispheric slow wave sleep (USWS), seen in all members of the order Cetacea examined to date, is described. We trace the discovery of this phenotypically unusual form of mammalian sleep and highlight specific aspects that are different from sleep in terrestrial mammals. We find that for cetaceans sleep is characterized by USWS, a negligible amount or complete absence of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and a varying degree of movement during sleep associated with body size, and an asymmetrical eye state. We then compare the anatomy of the mammalian somnogenic system with what is known in cetaceans, highlighting areas where additional knowledge is needed to understand cetacean sleep. Three suggested functions of USWS (facilitation of movement, more efficient sensory processing and control of breathing) are discussed. Lastly, the possible selection pressures leading to this form of sleep are examined, leading us to the suggestion that the selection pressure necessitating the evolution of cetacean sleep was most likely the need to offset heat loss to the water from birth and throughout life. Aspects such as sentinel functions and breathing are likely to be proximate evolutionary phenomenon of this form of sleep.

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Complete amino acid sequence of the major component myoglobin from the goose-beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris.

    PubMed

    Lehman, L D; Jones, B N; Dwulet, F E; Bogardt, R A; Gurd, F R

    1980-10-21

    The complete primary structure of the major component myoglobin from the goose-beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris, was determined by specific cleavage of the protein to obtain large peptides which are readily degraded by the automatic sequencer. Over 80% of the amino acid sequence was established from the three peptides resulting from the cleavage of the apomyoglobin at its two methionine residues with cyanogen bromide along with the four peptides resulting from the cleavage with trypsin of the citraconylated apomyoglobin at its three arginine residues. Further digestion of the central cyanogen bromide peptide with S. aureus strain V8 protease and the 1,2-cyclohexanedione-treated central cyanogen bromide peptide with trypsin enabled the determination of the remainder of the covalent structure. This myoglobin differs from the cetacean myoglobins determined to date at 12 to 17 positions. These large sequence differences reflect the distant taxonomic relationships between the goose-beaked whale and the other species of Cetacea the myoglobin sequences of which have previously been determined.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The mitochondrial genome of the sperm whale and a new molecular reference for estimating eutherian divergence dates.

    PubMed

    Arnason, U; Gullberg, A; Gretarsdottir, S; Ursing, B; Janke, A

    2000-06-01

    Extant cetaceans are systematically divided into two suborders: Mysticeti (baleen whales) and Odontoceti (toothed whales). In this study, we have sequenced the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of an odontocete, the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), and included it in phylogenetic analyses together with the previously sequenced complete mtDNAs of two mysticetes (the fin and blue whales) and a number of other mammals, including five artiodactyls (the hippopotamus, cow, sheep, alpaca, and pig). The most strongly supported cetartiodactyl relationship was: outgroup,((pig, alpaca), ((cow, sheep),(hippopotamus,(sperm whale,(baleen whales))))). As in previous analyses of complete mtDNAs, the sister-group relationship between the hippopotamus and the whales received strong support, making both Artiodactyla and Suiformes (pigs, peccaries, and hippopotamuses) paraphyletic. In addition, the analyses identified a sister-group relationship between Suina (the pig) and Tylopoda (the alpaca), although this relationship was not strongly supported. The paleontological records of both mysticetes and odontocetes extend into the Oligocene, suggesting that the mysticete and odontocete lineages diverged 32-34 million years before present (MYBP). Use of this divergence date and the complete mtDNAs of the sperm whale and the two baleen whales allowed the establishment of a new molecular reference, O/M-33, for dating other eutherian divergences. There was a general consistency between O/M-33 and the two previously established eutherian references, A/C-60 and E/R-50. Cetacean (whale) origin, i.e., the divergence between the hippopotamus and the cetaceans, was dated to approximately 55 MYBP, while basal artiodactyl divergences were dated to >/=65 MYBP. Molecular estimates of Tertiary eutherian divergences were consistent with the fossil record.

  14. DNA-Based Diet Analysis for Any Predator

    PubMed Central

    Dunshea, Glenn

    2009-01-01

    Background Prey DNA from diet samples can be used as a dietary marker; yet current methods for prey detection require a priori diet knowledge and/or are designed ad hoc, limiting their scope. I present a general approach to detect diverse prey in the feces or gut contents of predators. Methodology/Principal Findings In the example outlined, I take advantage of the restriction site for the endonuclease Pac I which is present in 16S mtDNA of most Odontoceti mammals, but absent from most other relevant non-mammalian chordates and invertebrates. Thus in DNA extracted from feces of these mammalian predators Pac I will cleave and exclude predator DNA from a small region targeted by novel universal primers, while most prey DNA remain intact allowing prey selective PCR. The method was optimized using scat samples from captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) fed a diet of 6–10 prey species from three phlya. Up to five prey from two phyla were detected in a single scat and all but one minor prey item (2% of the overall diet) were detected across all samples. The same method was applied to scat samples from free-ranging bottlenose dolphins; up to seven prey taxa were detected in a single scat and 13 prey taxa from eight teleost families were identified in total. Conclusions/Significance Data and further examples are provided to facilitate rapid transfer of this approach to any predator. This methodology should prove useful to zoologists using DNA-based diet techniques in a wide variety of study systems. PMID:19390570

  15. Forelimb myology of the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis).

    PubMed

    Fisher, Rebecca E; Scott, Kathleen M; Naples, Virginia L

    2007-06-01

    Based on morphological analyses, hippos have traditionally been classified as Suiformes, along with pigs and peccaries. However, molecular data indicate hippos and cetaceans are sister taxa (see review in Uhen, 2007, this issue). This study analyzes soft tissue characters of the pygmy hippo forelimb to elucidate the functional anatomy and evolutionary relationships of hippos within Artiodactyla. Two specimens from the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. were dissected, revealing several adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle. However, these adaptations differ functionally from most aquatic mammals as hippos walk along river or lake bottoms, rather than swim. Several findings highlight a robust mechanism for propelling the trunk forward through the water. For example, mm. pectoralis superficialis and profundus demonstrate broad sites of origin, while the long flexor tendons serve each of the digits, reflecting the fact that all toes are weight-bearing. Pygmy hippos also have eight mm. interossei and a well-developed m. lumbricalis IV. Retention of intrinsic adductors functions to prevent splaying of the toes, an advantageous arrangement in an animal walking on muddy substrates. Published descriptions indicate common hippos share all of these features. Hippo and ruminant forelimbs share several traits; however, hippos are unique among artiodactyls in retaining several primitive muscles (e.g., mm. palmaris longus and flexor digitorum brevis). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that hippos diverged from other Artiodactyla early in the history of this group. Additional analyses of hindlimb and axial muscles may help determine whether this trajectory was closely allied to that of Cetacea.

  16. Forelimb myology of the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis).

    PubMed

    Fisher, Rebecca E; Scott, Kathleen M; Naples, Virginia L

    2007-06-01

    Based on morphological analyses, hippos have traditionally been classified as Suiformes, along with pigs and peccaries. However, molecular data indicate hippos and cetaceans are sister taxa (see review in Uhen, 2007, this issue). This study analyzes soft tissue characters of the pygmy hippo forelimb to elucidate the functional anatomy and evolutionary relationships of hippos within Artiodactyla. Two specimens from the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. were dissected, revealing several adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle. However, these adaptations differ functionally from most aquatic mammals as hippos walk along river or lake bottoms, rather than swim. Several findings highlight a robust mechanism for propelling the trunk forward through the water. For example, mm. pectoralis superficialis and profundus demonstrate broad sites of origin, while the long flexor tendons serve each of the digits, reflecting the fact that all toes are weight-bearing. Pygmy hippos also have eight mm. interossei and a well-developed m. lumbricalis IV. Retention of intrinsic adductors functions to prevent splaying of the toes, an advantageous arrangement in an animal walking on muddy substrates. Published descriptions indicate common hippos share all of these features. Hippo and ruminant forelimbs share several traits; however, hippos are unique among artiodactyls in retaining several primitive muscles (e.g., mm. palmaris longus and flexor digitorum brevis). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that hippos diverged from other Artiodactyla early in the history of this group. Additional analyses of hindlimb and axial muscles may help determine whether this trajectory was closely allied to that of Cetacea. PMID:17516432

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Morphological and molecular evidence for a stepwise evolutionary transition from teeth to baleen in mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Deméré, Thomas A; McGowen, Michael R; Berta, Annalisa; Gatesy, John

    2008-02-01

    The origin of baleen in mysticete whales represents a major transition in the phylogenetic history of Cetacea. This key specialization, a keratinous sieve that enables filter-feeding, permitted exploitation of a new ecological niche and heralded the evolution of modern baleen-bearing whales, the largest animals on Earth. To date, all formally described mysticete fossils conform to two types: toothed species from Oligocene-age rocks ( approximately 24 to 34 million years old) and toothless species that presumably utilized baleen to feed (Recent to approximately 30 million years old). Here, we show that several Oligocene toothed mysticetes have nutrient foramina and associated sulci on the lateral portions of their palates, homologous structures in extant mysticetes house vessels that nourish baleen. The simultaneous occurrence of teeth and nutrient foramina implies that both teeth and baleen were present in these early mysticetes. Phylogenetic analyses of a supermatrix that includes extinct taxa and new data for 11 nuclear genes consistently resolve relationships at the base of Mysticeti. The combined data set of 27,340 characters supports a stepwise transition from a toothed ancestor, to a mosaic intermediate with both teeth and baleen, to modern baleen whales that lack an adult dentition but retain developmental and genetic evidence of their ancestral toothed heritage. Comparative sequence data for ENAM (enamelin) and AMBN (ameloblastin) indicate that enamel-specific loci are present in Mysticeti but have degraded to pseudogenes in this group. The dramatic transformation in mysticete feeding anatomy documents an apparently rare, stepwise mode of evolution in which a composite phenotype bridged the gap between primitive and derived morphologies; a combination of fossil and molecular evidence provides a multifaceted record of this macroevolutionary pattern.

  1. Transition of Eocene whales from land to sea: evidence from bone microstructure.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Chemical characterization of the oligosaccharides in beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) milk.

    PubMed

    Urashima, Tadasu; Sato, Harumi; Munakata, Jiro; Nakamura, Tadashi; Arai, Ikichi; Saito, Tadao; Tetsuka, Masafumi; Fukui, Yutaka; Ishikawa, Hajime; Lydersen, Christian; Kovacs, Kit M

    2002-07-01

    Carbohydrates were extracted from the milk of a beluga, Delphinopterus leucas (family Odontoceti), and two Minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Family Mysticeti), sampled late in their respective lactation periods. Free oligosaccharides were separated by gel filtration and then neutral oligosaccharides were purified by preparative thin layer chromatography and gel filtration, while acidic oligosaccharides were purified by ion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Their structures were determined by 1H-NMR. In one of the Minke whale milk samples, lactose was a dominant saccharide, with Fuc(alpha1-2)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(2'-fucosyllactose), Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(lacto-N-neotetraose), GalNAc(alpha1-3)[Fuc(alpha1-2)]Gal(beta1-4)Glc(A-tetrasaccharide), Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (para lacto-N-neohexaose), Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-neotetraose), Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (LST c) and Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (sialyl para lacto-N-neohexaose) also being found in the milk. The second Minke whale sample contained similar amounts of lactose, 2'-fucosyllactose and A-tetrasaccharide, but no free sialyl oligosaccharides. Sialyl lacto-N-neotetraose and sialyl para lacto-N-neohexaose are novel oligosaccharides which have not been previously reported from any mammalian milk or colostrum. These and other oligosaccharides of Minke whale milk may have biological significance as anti-infection factors, protecting the suckling young against bacteria and viruses. The lactose of Minke whale milk could be a source of energy for them. The beluga whale milk contained trace amounts of Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose), but the question of whether it contained free lactose could not be clarified. Therefore

  5. Biomineralization: Some complex crystallite-oriented skeletal structures.

    PubMed

    Sahni, Ashok

    2013-12-01

    and with phosphates and silica as important but secondary materials. The preservation of calcareous skeletons in deep time has resulted in providing interesting information: for example, the number of days in the Devonian year has been established on the basis of well-preserved lunar (annual) cycles, and isotope chemistry has led to an elaborate protocol for using O18/O16 stable isotopes for palaeotemperature measurements in the geological past. Stable isotopes of dental apatite have helped to establish ecological shifts (terrestrial to wholly marine) during the evolution of the Cetacea. Biomineralization as a field of specialization is still searching for its own independent identity, but gradually, its importance is being realized as a model for engineering applications especially at the nanometer scale. PMID:24296896

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    (-2) and similar during winter (37.4 ± 4.6 birds km-2) and summer (37.5 ± 6.4 birds km-2). Within the outer-shelf domain (100 – 200-m depth), average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during winter (34.6 ± 4.2 birds km-2), lesser during fall (16.2 ± 1.7 birds km-2), and least during summer (6.9 ± 1.1 birds km-2). Within the farthest offshore waters over the continental slope domain (200 – 2000-m depth) average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during fall (10.0 ± 2.2 birds km-2) and winter (9.3 ± 1.5 birds km-2), and lesser during summer (6.2 ± 1.4 birds km-2). We observed 16 cetacean species and five pinniped species. Among the Mysticeti (baleen whales), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were most frequently observed (114 sightings of 264 individuals) during summer and fall mostly over the outer-shelf and slope waters, however, individuals were also seen within the Siltcoos, Nehalem, Fort Bragg, and Eureka Focal Areas. We recorded 11 Odontoceti (toothed whale) species. Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were the most frequently sighted (164 sightings of 270 individuals). Harbor porpoises were present year-round and most frequently sighted within the inner-shelf domain throughout the entire study area in all seasons. Harbor porpoises occurred in all six Focal Areas, with noteworthy aggregations within the Eureka, Siltcoos, and Grays Harbor Focal Areas. We recorded 246 sightings of 375 individual pinnipeds (5 species). California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were the most frequently sighted and were present year-round with slightly more sightings recorded during the fall. California sea lions showed a decreasing frequency of sightings and relative abundance with distance from shore across the bathymetric domains surveyed, being most frequently observed over the inner-shelf. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) were