The anatomical record under the sea: A history of reporting findings on the biology, adaptations, and evolution of mammals that inhabit a watery world
Article first published online: 21 MAY 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Special Issue: Anatomical Adaptations of Aquatic Mammals
Volume 290, Issue 6, pages 501–503, June 2007
How to Cite
Laitman, J. T. and Albertine, K. H. (2007), The anatomical record under the sea: A history of reporting findings on the biology, adaptations, and evolution of mammals that inhabit a watery world. Anat Rec, 290: 501–503. doi: 10.1002/ar.20543
- Issue published online: 21 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 21 MAY 2007
The Anatomical Record has a long and robust history of reporting findings on the anatomy, embryology, adaptations, and evolution of our wettest mammalian relatives. Ranging from reports on the largest baleen whales to riverine manatees to other reports on fur seals to porpoises, the anatomy of those relatives that ventured back to the waters has been exquisitely documented within our pages. Keeping with that tradition is this month's special issue, “The anatomical adaptations of aquatic mammals,” guest edited by comparative anatomist and water-world aficionado Dr. Joy Reidenberg. Within the pages of this special issue will be found a pelagic cornucopia of the latest science and issues confronting those at the forefront of aquatic anatomy, as well as providing us with a “Jules Verne-esque” window onto the use of state-of-the-art tools and approaches used to address some long-standing questions on how these remarkable relatives came to be.
This journal has long been a leader in uncovering the anatomy and function below the waves and, indeed, some of our brightest lights have put their scalpels and microscopes to the task. Particularly notable in this regard have been the following: the elegant and insightful comparative studies by George B. Wislocki, renown Professor and Chair of Anatomy at Harvard Medical School (and the mentor and stimulator of many anatomists, such as Editor Emeritus of this journal, John Ladman) on the hypophysis in mysticete whales (Wislocki and Geiling, 1936), on comparisons of the hypophysis among elephants, manatees, and hyraxes (Wislocki, 1940), on the ovary of humpback whales (Demsey and Wislocki, 1941), and on the lungs in porpoises (Wislocki, 1942); studies by the Chinese anatomist Chi Ping, on the visceral and testicular anatomy of the Yangtze River porpoise (Ping, 1926a, b); a study by one of the greatest embryologists of his day, Leslie B. Arey, on the seal liver (1932); the work by Oldham and colleagues on the hypophysis of the manatee (Oldham et al., 1938); the comparative study by Grafflin and Geiling on the thyroid gland in whales (1942); studies on the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system of fur seals by Enders, Pearson, and colleagues (Enders et al., 1946; Pearson and Enders, 1951); the study by Zeek on the fascinating occurrence of the double trachea in penguins and sea lions (Zeek, 1951); the comparative study on cardiac anatomy, pathology, and coronary circulation of whales by the eminent anatomist Raymond C. Truex (Truex et al., 1961); work by the Japanese anatomist Kinziro Kubota on the variation in dentition among pinnipeds (Kubota and Togawa, 1964) and on the comparative anatomy of the fur seal tongue (Kubota, 1968); the exquisitely detailed study by Galliano and colleagues on the cervicothoracic arterial system of the bottlenose dolphin (1966); the study by Sinha and Conaway on the ovary of the sea otter (1968); Morita and colleagues examination of the carotid body in the weddel seal (1970); comparative studies on the arteriovenous anastomoses in the skin of seals by Molyneux and Bryden (1978; Bryden and Molyneux, 1978); the study by noted Yale orthopedist John Ogden and colleagues on the cervical spine in pilot whales (1981); and the series of studies by Haldiman, Henk, Abdelbaki, and colleagues on the respiratory system and other features of the rare bowhead whale (Henry et al., 1983; Abdelbaki et al., 1984; Haldiman et al., 1984, 1985; Henk and Haldiman, 1990).
The past few decades have been particularly fruitful for The Anatomical Record, with researchers continuing explorations into the often difficult-to-acquire aquatic material, but now also adding in-depth insights into both functional morphology and frequently introducing visualizations of structures through advancements in imaging technologies. Notable in this regard have been the following: comparative studies on the cranial base, hyoid, and upper respiratory structures of toothed whales by Reidenberg and Laitman (1987, 1988, 1994); extensive comparative analyses by Rommel and coworkers on an array of animals, including observations on the cetacean uterus, and reproductive organs of phocid seals (Rommel et al., 1993, 1995) and, especially, their groundbreaking work on the various organ systems of the Florida manatee (Reynolds and Rommel, 1996; Rommel and Reynolds, 2000; Rommel et al., 2001); the study by James and colleagues (1995) on the impulse conduction system in the sperm whale heart; the embryological examination by the Dutch anatomist van der Shoot on the fetal development of the cetacean gubernaculum (1995); work by the Spanish team of Calzada and Aguilar on the development of the flipper in the striped dolphin (1996); the description of the heart of the fetal bowhead whale by Tarpley and colleagues (1997); the extensive, magnetic resonance imaging analyses of whale brains, and interpretations of how they got to be so intricate, by Marino and colleagues (Marino et al., 2001, 2004a, b; Ridgeway et al., 2002); the detailed examination of the muscles of the eye of the bowhead whale by Zhu and colleagues (2000); the immunohistochemical analysis of immune cells in the skin of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin by Zabka and Romano (2003); assessments of neocortical cell numbers in the mysticete brain by the Danish team of Eriksen and Pakkenberg (2007); and the recently published, extraordinarily insightful and probing studies on the complexity of the whale brain cortex, and how the cells therein may have evolved, by Hof and coworkers (2005; Hof and Van der Gucht, 2007).
As evidenced from the luminaries and probing science in the partial list above, The Anatomical Record has long been, and, continues to be, a prime forum for the communication of new findings and challenging hypotheses on the anatomy, physiology, and evolution of our aquatic kin. This special issue is a most appropriate torch to carry this tradition proudly into our journal's second century.
- 1984. Macroanatomy of the renicule of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). Anat Rec 208: 481–490. , , , , , .
- 1932. On the presence of so-called portal lobules in the seal's liver. Anat Rec 51: 315–322. .
- 1978. Arteriovenous anastomoses in the skin of seals. II. The California sea lion Zalophus californianus and the northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus (Pinnipedia: Otariidae). Anat Rec 191: 253–259. , .
- 1996. Flipper development in the Mediterranean striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba). Anat Rec 245: 708–714. , .
- 1941. The structure of the ovary of the humpback whale (Megaptera nodosa). Anat Rec 80: 243–257. , .
- 1946. Certain aspects of reproduction in the fur seal. Anat Rec 94: 213–227. , , .
- 2007. Total neocortical cell number in the mysticete brain. Anat Rec 290: 83–95. , .
- 1966. The anatomy of the cervicothoracic arterial system in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with a surgical approach. Anat Rec 155: 325–337. , , , , .
- 1942. Observations upon the structure of the thyroid gland in whales. Anat Rec 83: 367–379. , .
- 1984. Microanatomy of the major airway mucosa of the bowhead whale,Balaena mysticetus. Anat Rec 209: 219–230. , , , , , .
- 1985. Epidermal and papillary dermal characteristics of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). Anat Rec 211: 391–402. , , , , , .
- 1990. Microanatomy of the lung of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus. Anat Rec 226: 187–197. , .
- 1983. Gross anatomy of the respiratory system of the bowhead whale,Balaena mysticetus. Anat Rec 207: 435–449. , , , , , .
- 2007. Structure of the cerebral cortex of the humpback whale,Megaptera novaeangliae (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Balaenopteridae). Anat Rec 290: 1–31. , .
- 2005. Cortical complexity in cetacean brains. Anat Rec 287A: 1142–1152. , , .
- 1995. Anatomy of the sinus node, av node, and his bundle of the heart of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), with a note on the absence of an os cordis. Anat Rec 242: 355–373. , , , , , .
- 1968. Comparative anatomical and neurohistological observations on the tongue of the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinu). Anat Rec 161: 257–265. .
- 1964. Numerical variations in the dentition of some pinnipeds. Anat Rec 150: 487–502. , .
- 2001. Anatomy and three-dimensional reconstructions of the brain of the white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) from magnetic resonance images. Anat Rec 262: 429–439. , , , , , , , .
- 2004a. Origin and evolution of large brains in toothed whales. Anat Rec 281A: 1247–1255. , , .
- 2004b. Neuroanatomy of the killer whale (Orcinus orca) from magnetic resonance images. Anat Rec 281A: 1256–1263. , , , , , .
- 1978. Arteriovenous anastomoses in the skin of seals. I. The Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddelli and the elephant seal Mirounga leonina (Pinnipedia: Phocidae). Anat Rec 191: 239–251. , .
- 1970. The carotid body of the weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli). Anat Rec 167: 309–328. , , .
- 1981. Prenatal and postnatal development of the cervical portion of the spine in the short-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhyncha. Anat Rec 200: 83–94. , , , , .
- 1938. A note on the histology and pharmacology of the hypophysis of the manatee (Trichechus inunguis). Anat Rec 71: 27–32. , , .
- 1951. Further observations on the reproduction of the Alaskan fur seal. Anat Rec 111: 695–711. , .
- 1926a. On some parts of the visceral anatomy of the porpoise,Neomeris phocoenoides. Anat Rec 33: 13–28. .
- 1926b. On the testis and its accessory structures in the porpoise. Anat Rec 32: 113–117. .
- 1996. Structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract of the Florida manatee,Trichechus manatus latirostris. Anat Rec 245: 539–558. , .
- 1987. The position of the larynx in Odontoceti (toothed whales). Anat Rec 218: 98–106. , .
- 1988. Existence of vocal folds in the larynx of Odontoceti (toothed whales). Anat Rec 221: 892–899. , .
- 1994. Anatomy of the hyoid apparatus in Odontoceti (toothed whales): specializations of their skeleton and musculature as compared with those of terrestrial mammals. Anat Rec 240: 598–624. , .
- 2002. Description of a poorly differentiated carcinoma within the brainstem of a white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) from magnetic resonance images and histological analysis. Anat Rec 268: 441–449. , , .
- 2000. Diaphragm structure and function in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Anat Rec 259: 41–51. , .
- 1993. Functional morphology of the vascular plexuses associated with the cetacean uterus. Anat Rec 237: 538–546. , , .
- 1995. Venous structures associated with thermoregulation of phocid seal reproductive organs. Anat Rec 243: 390–402. , , , , .
- 2001. Functional morphology of venous structures associated with the male and female reproductive systems in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Anat Rec 264: 339–347. , , .
- 1968. The ovary of the sea otter. Anat Rec 160: 795–805. , .
- 1997. Observations on the external morphology and vasculature of a fetal heart of the bowhead whale,Balaena mysticetus. Anat Rec 247: 556–581. , , , .
- 1961. Anatomy and pathology of the whale heart with special reference to the coronary circulation. Anat Rec 141: 325–352. , , , , .
- 1995. Studies on the fetal development of the gubernaculums in cetacea. Anat Rec 243: 449–460. .
- 1940. The topography of the hypophysis in the elephant, manatee and hyrax. Anat Rec 77: 427–445. .
- 1942. The lungs of the Cetacea, with special reference to the harbor porpoise (Phocaena phocoena, Linneaus). Anat Rec 84: 117–123. .
- 1936. The anatomy of the hypophysis of whales. Anat Rec 66: 17–41. , .
- 2003. Distribution of MHC II (+) cells in skin of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): an initial investigation of dolphin dendritic cells. Anat Rec 273A: 636–647. , .
- 1951. Double trachea in penguins and sea lions. Anat Rec 111: 327–343. .
- 2000. Observations on the muscles of the eye of the bowhead whale,Balaena mysticetus. Anat Rec 259: 189–204. , , .