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Article
Reconstructing Cetacean Brain Evolution Using Computed Tomography
Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, and Zoology
  • Lori Marino, Emory University
  • Mark D. Uhen, Cranbook Institute of Science
  • Nicholas D. Pyenson, University of California - Berkeley
  • Bruno Frohlich, The Smithsonian Institution
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
5-1-2003
Abstract
Until recently, there have been relatively few studies of brain mass and morphology in fossil cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) because of difficulty accessing the matrix that fills the endocranial cavity of fossil cetacean skulls. As a result, our knowledge about cetacean brain evolution has been quite limited. By applying the noninvasive technique of computed tomography (CT) to visualize, measure, and reconstruct the endocranial morphology of fossil cetacean skulls, we can gain vastly more information at an unprecedented rate about cetacean brain evolution. Here, we discuss our method and demonstrate it with several examples from our fossil cetacean database. This approach will provide new insights into the little-known evolutionary history of cetacean brain evolution.
Citation Information
Marino, L., Uhen, M. D., Pyenson, N. D., & Frohlich, B. (2003). Reconstructing cetacean brain evolution using computed tomography. The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist, 272(1), 107-117.