CT study of acoustic signal pathway through the middle ear of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Authors

  • Taryn Davids Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Canada
  • Richard J. Mount Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Canada
  • Susan Blaser Department of Medical Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Paolo Campisi Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Canada
  • Robert V. Harrison Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Canada

Keywords:

Computerized tomography, Conservation, Mammals, Acoustic environment, Acoustic signals, Bony structures, Dry specimens, Endangered species, High resolution computer tomographies, Inner ear structures, Marine mammals, Middle ears, Sperm Whales

Abstract

The ability of marine mammals to adapt to an underwater acoustic environment is a remarkable evolutionary achievement. Of particular interest is how the middle and inner ear structures are modified relative to those of terrestrial mammals. For the large whale species there are very few anatomical descriptions of the ear, in part because of the large and dense bony structures involved. Because the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is listed as an endangered species, legal fresh specimens are rare. However old dry specimens can be found and we are able to present here a study of the periotic-tympanic bone complex of the sperm whale, using high resolution computer tomography (CT) imaging. We discuss the marine adaptations of the middle and inner ear structures.

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Published

2011-12-01

How to Cite

1.
Davids T, Mount RJ, Blaser S, Campisi P, Harrison RV. CT study of acoustic signal pathway through the middle ear of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011 Dec. 1 [cited 2021 Dec. 4];39(4):13-7. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2491

Issue

Section

Technical Articles