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Histology and growth pattern of the pachy-osteosclerotic premaxillae of the fossil beaked whale Aporotus recurvirostris (Mammalia, Cetacea, Odontoceti)
de Buffrenil, V.; Lambert, O. (2011). Histology and growth pattern of the pachy-osteosclerotic premaxillae of the fossil beaked whale Aporotus recurvirostris (Mammalia, Cetacea, Odontoceti). Géobios 44(1): 45-56. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2010.09.001
In: Géobios. Association Européenne de Paléontologie: Lyon. ISSN 0016-6995, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279632 [ OMA ]

Keywords
Author keywords
    Ziphiidae; Bone; Histology; Growth; Rostrum; Functional interpretation

Authors  Top 
  • de Buffrenil, V.
  • Lambert, O., more

Abstract
    Beaked whales (Ziphiidae) often show highly specialized features, involving bone morphology or structure, in the rostral region of their skulls. Previous studies revealed an extremely derived and peculiar histological structure in the rostrum of the extant Mesoplodon densirostris. In order to assess if this structure is a general feature of ziphiids, the swollen premaxillae of Aporotus recurvirostris, a Miocene species from the North Sea, were studied histologically. These bones are pachyostotic and strongly osteosclerotic. However, their structural organization is entirely different from that of M. densirostris rostrum: they are basically made of a non-remodeled, laminar tissue that was cyclically deposited by the periosteum. As compared to the generalized structure of the premaxillae of toothed whales exemplified by the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, the pachyostotic condition of Aporotus premaxillae was obviously due to a particularly high and sustained growth-rate, occurring in a dorso-lateral direction. The osteosclerotic structure of these bones resulted from a complete lack of inner resorption activity. The histological features of Aporotus premaxillae indicate that these bones are not likely to have been hypermineralized, and thus, their physical properties must have differed from those of the M. densirostris rostrum. The possible functional involvements of rostral peculiarities in beaked whales are discussed with reference to the whole set of available comparative data.

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