Unique Biochemical and Mineral Composition of Whale Ear Bones

  title={Unique Biochemical and Mineral Composition of Whale Ear Bones},
  author={Sora L. Kim and J. G. M. Thewissen and Morgan Churchill and Robert S. Suydam and Darlene R. Ketten and Mark T. Clementz},
  journal={Physiological and Biochemical Zoology},
  pages={576 - 584}
Cetaceans are obligate aquatic mammals derived from terrestrial artiodactyls. The defining characteristic of cetaceans is a thick and dense lip (pachyosteosclerotic involucrum) of an ear bone (the tympanic). This unique feature is absent in modern terrestrial artiodactyls and is suggested to be important in underwater hearing. Here, we investigate the mineralogical and biochemical properties of the involucrum, as these may hold clues to the aquatic adaptations of cetaceans. We compared… 
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