SURFACE MORPHOLOGY OF THE FOREBRAIN OF THE BOWHEAD WHALE, BALAENA MYSTICETUS

Authors

  • Dennis W. Duffield,

    1. Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Fine Structure, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
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  • Jerrold T. Haldiman,

    1. Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Fine Structure, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
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  • William G. Henk

    1. Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Fine Structure, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
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Abstract

Observations were made on 11 brains from bowhead whales subsistence-harvested by Alaskan Eskimos under International Whaling Commission guidelines. This study is part of a larger project to determine the basic morphology of this endangered species. The bowhead brain is similar to other cetacean brains, particularly that of the southern right whale. Long olfactory peduncles are reflected upon the rostrodorsal surface of the cerebral hemispheres. Olfactory bulbs have not been recovered but are presumed to exist since nerve fibers have been identified histologically in the olfactory peduncles. The induseum griseum is evident on the corpus callosum. The hippocampus proper is small but protrudes into the lateral ventricle. The cruciate sulcus runs diagonally across the rostral surface, limiting a small frontal lobe. The structure of the floor of the sylvian fissure varies from a few short gyri radiating toward the circular sulcus to a more extensive and complex two-tiered arrangement including numerous gyri perpendicular to the gyrus bordering the paleocortex. Pineal-body-like tissue was present in one specimen. There is no interthalamic adhesion. The lateral geniculate body is elevated but smaller than the large medial geniculate body. The neurohypophysis was adherent on most brain specimens received.

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