Project 470: Ekdale, E. G., A. Berta, and T. A. Deméré. 2011. The Comparative Osteology of the Petrotympanic Complex (Ear Region) of Extant Baleen Whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). PLOS ONE. 6 (6):e21311.
Specimen: Balaenoptera acutorostrata (SDNHM/23642)

Abstract

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.



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Project DOI: 10.7934/P470, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P470
This project containsMatrices
  • 599 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 7 Documents
  • 15 Taxa
  • 171 Specimens
  • 48 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 661 MB

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 642
Total media associated with cells: 893
Total labels associated with cell media: 928
Characters
Total characters: 48
Total characters with associated media: 1
Total characters with media with labels: 1
Total character states: 114
Total character states with associated media: 101
Total character states with media with labels:101
Total unordered/ordered characters:48/0
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MorphoBank Project 470

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    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    notes  medialabels
    rules
    Tom Demere
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 06/22/11
    00102112
    (12, 0, 0)
    124240
    Annalisa Berta
    Full membership
    Last logged in 02/24/11
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    0000
    MorphoBank Curator
    Full membership
    Last logged in 08/07/14
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    0000
    Eric Ekdale
    Full membership
    Last logged in 07/11/11
    1145539084554
    (554, 0, 0)
    12726710


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M1060' (14 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
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    [1] † Mammalodon colliveri
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    153300024224
    [2] † Eomysticetus whitmorei
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    133500065654
    [3] Balaenoptera acutorostrata
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04800059624
    [4] Balaenoptera bonaerensis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04800064674
    [5] Balaenoptera borealis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    05000070724
    [6] Balaenoptera edeni
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04800073714
    [7] Balaenoptera musculus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04900072784
    [8] Balaenoptera omurai
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    64200057624
    [9] Balaenoptera physalus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    24900064684
    [10] Megaptera novaeangliae
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    14900082854
    [11] Eschrichtius robustus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04900070724
    [12] Caperea marginata
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    44400063634
    [13] Balaena mysticetus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04900068764
    [14] Eubalaena sp.
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    04900062654


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