Pages

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fetal Mineralization of the Tympanic Bulla

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. 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. The evolution of the cetacean skeleton followed a path that differentiated this group from other terrestrial mammals about 50 million years ago.

No comments: