Calculating just how small a whale can be

  title={Calculating just how small a whale can be},
  author={Jerry F. Downhower and Lawrence S. Blumer},

The Distribution and Morphological Characteristics of Catecholaminergic Cells in the Diencephalon and Midbrain of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

A distinct evolutionary trend occurring in the neuromodulatory systems in mammals is suggested in relation to motor control, thermoregulation, unihemispheric sleep, and dolphin cognition.

Energetic tradeoffs control the size distribution of aquatic mammals

The evolutionary trajectories of body size in aquatic mammals are examined through both comparative phylogenetic analysis and examination of the fossil record to indicate that the evolution of an aquatic lifestyle is driving three of the four extant aquatic mammal clades toward a size attractor at ∼500 kg.

The locus coeruleus complex of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry

The present study is the first to describe the locus coeruleus complex in a cetacean species and, at 1.3 kg, represents the largest non‐human brain to date in which the LC has been investigated.

The molecular evolution of genes previously associated with large sizes reveals possible pathways to cetacean gigantism

The results suggest the action of positive selection on gigantism in genes that act both in body augmentation and in mitigating its consequences, such as cancer suppression when involved in processes such as division, migration, and cell development control.

Amplification of potential thermogenetic mechanisms in cetacean brains compared to artiodactyl brains

Cetacean brains studied possess multiple characteristics indicative of intensified thermogenetic functionality that can be related to their current and historical obligatory aquatic niche and necessitate reassessment of concepts regarding the reasons for large brain evolution and associated functional capacities in cetaceans.

Physiological constraints on body size distributions in Crocodyliformes

It appears that constraints on maximum size are shared across Crocodyliformes, perhaps through factors such as the allometric scaling of feeding rate versus basal metabolism with body size, and a model combining constraints from thermoregulation and lung capacity provides a physiological explanation for the larger minimum and average sizes of marine species.

Crocodylomorph cranial shape evolution and its relationship with body size and ecology

A strong link between shape and size, and a significant influence of ecology on the observed shape variation are found, demonstrates an intricate relationship between cranial shape, body size and lifestyle in crocodylomorph evolutionary history.

Macroecological patterns of mammals across taxonomic, spatial, and temporal scales

The advances in three areas of mammalian macroecology are reviewed: 1) spatial and temporal patterns of assemblage structure and space use, 2) the processes and constraints underlying the evolution of body size and life history, and 3) advances in understanding and predicting loss of biodiversity.