Chapter

Comparative and Functional Anatomy of Balance in Aquatic Mammals

Fred Spoor and J. G. M. Thewissen

in Sensory Evolution on the Threshold

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520252783
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934122 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252783.003.0016
Comparative and Functional Anatomy of Balance in Aquatic Mammals

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This chapter considers the comparative and functional anatomy of the organ of balance or vestibular system in aquatic and semiaquatic mammals, such as cetaceans, artiodactyls, sirenians, rodents, carnivores, and monotremes. It focuses on the semicircular canal and its anatomical diversity among aquatic and mammal species, and relates this diversity to locomotor behaviors and to the demands of an aquatic environment.

Keywords: balance; aquatic mammals; semiaquatic mammals; cetaceans; artiodactyls; sirenians; rodents; carnivores; monotremes; semicircular canal

Chapter.  14352 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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