Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fatty Ears May Help Baleen Whales Hear

The remains of stranded minke whales, mostly from Massachusetts beaches, have helped scientists understand how they and their close relatives hear.

Minke whales are baleen whales, whales that use baleen plates in their mouths to filter meals of tiny organisms out of the ocean. Scientists have known for some time that their relatives, the toothed whales including killer whales, sperm whales and dolphins, use fat associated with their lower jaws to guide sound into their ears. Land animals use air-filled ear canals to do the same thing.

Using a combination of scans and dissection, a team of researchers found the baleen whales have similar lobes of fat that appear to provide a direct conduit for sound to the middle and inner ear.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails