Quantitative computed tomography of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mandibles: mechanical implications for rorqual lunge-feeding.

Field, D. J. and Campbell-Malone, R and Goldbogen, JA and Shadwick, RE (2010) Quantitative computed tomography of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mandibles: mechanical implications for rorqual lunge-feeding. Anatomical Record, 293 (7). pp. 1240-1247. ISSN 1932-8486, 1932-8494 DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.21165

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.21165

Abstract

Rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae) lunge at high speed with mouth open to nearly 90 degrees to engulf large volumes of prey-laden water. This feeding process is enabled by extremely large skulls and mandibles that increase mouth area, thereby facilitating the flux of water into the mouth. When these mandibles are lowered during lunge-feeding, they are exposed to high drag, and therefore, may be subject to significant bending forces. We hypothesized that these mandibles exhibited a mechanical design (shape and density distribution) that enables these bones to accommodate high loads during lunge-feeding without exceeding their breaking strength. We used quantitative computed tomography (QCT) to determine the three-dimensional geometry and density distribution of a pair of subadult humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mandibles (length = 2.10 m). QCT data indicated highest bone density and cross-sectional area, and therefore, high resistance to bending and deflection, from the coronoid process to the middle of the dentary, which then decreased towards the anterior end of the mandible. These results differ from the caudorostral trends of increasing mandibular bone density in mammals, such as humans and the right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, indicating that adaptive bone remodeling is a significant contributing factor in establishing mandibular bone density distributions in rorquals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA75
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Anatomical Record
Volume: 293
Page Range: pp. 1240-1247
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.21165
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 18:11
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2019 18:11
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4570

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

About cookies