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Morphology of the odontocete melon and its implications for acoustic function

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dc.contributor.author McKenna, Megan F. en
dc.contributor.author Cranford, Ted W. en
dc.contributor.author Berta, Annalisa en
dc.contributor.author Pyenson, Nicholas D. en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-17T19:05:48Z
dc.date.available 2013-01-17T19:05:48Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation McKenna, Megan F., Cranford, Ted W., Berta, Annalisa, and Pyenson, Nicholas D. 2011. "<a href="https%3A%2F%2Frepository.si.edu%2Fhandle%2F10088%2F19486">Morphology of the odontocete melon and its implications for acoustic function</a>." <em>Marine Mammal Science</em>. 28 (4):690&ndash;713. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2011.00526.x">https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2011.00526.x</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 1748-7692
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/19486
dc.description.abstract Toothed whales (crown Odontoceti) are unique among mammals in their ability to echolocate underwater, using specialized tissue structures. The melon, a structure composed of fat and connective tissue, is an important component in the production of an echolocation beam; it is known to focus high frequency, short duration echolocation clicks. Here, we report on the morphology of the odontocete melon to provide a comprehensive understanding of melon structure across odontocete taxa. This study examined nine odontocete species (12 individual specimens), from five of the ten extant odontocete families. We established standardized definitions using computed tomography scans of the melon to investigate structure without losing geometric integrity. The morphological features that relate to the focusing capacity of the melon include internal density topography, melon size and shape, and relationship to other forehead structures. The potential for melon structure to act as a filter is discussed: establishing a lower limit to the frequency of sounds that can be propagated through the head. Collectively, the results of this study provide a robust, quantitative and comparative framework for evaluating tissue structures that form a key component of the echolocation apparatus. en
dc.relation.ispartof Marine Mammal Science en
dc.title Morphology of the odontocete melon and its implications for acoustic function en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 109970
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2011.00526.x
rft.jtitle Marine Mammal Science
rft.volume 28
rft.issue 4
rft.spage 690
rft.epage 713
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Paleobiology en
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 690
dc.citation.epage 713


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