SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • finless porpoise;
  • Neophocaena phocaenoides;
  • skeletal development;
  • sexual dimorphism;
  • individual variation;
  • western Kyushu in Japan;
  • osteology

Abstract

Development, sexual dimorphism, and individual variation were examined in the skeleton of the finless porpoise in the coastal waters of western Kyushu, Japan. Skulls ceased growing by 4 yr. Postcranial skeletons ceased increasing in size at an age older than 11 yr. The finless porpoise was estimated to attain cranial maturity by 4 yr and physical maturity at 14–23 yr. Sexual dimorphism was not detectable in most of the cranial characters but was detected in more than half of the postcranial characters. Females tended to show larger values of postcranial characters. The shape of the pelvic bone was obviously different between males and females. Thus, a discriminant function was proposed to determine sex using measurements of this bone. Individual variation was greatest in the feeding apparatus such as length of the rostrum, and least in the braincase.