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Anatomy and functional morphology of the mysticete rorqual whale larynx: Phonation positions of the U-fold

Anatomy and functional morphology of the mysticete rorqual whale larynx: Phonation positions of the U-fold
Anatomy and functional morphology of the mysticete rorqual whale larynx: Phonation positions of the U-fold
Many Mysticetes (baleen whales) are acoustically active marine mammals. This is epitomized by rorquals, and specifically male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) whose complex songs comprise a wide range of vocalizations. The sound production mechanism of odontocetes (toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises) is well described, in contrast to that of mysticetes whose vocalization mechanism remains a subject of active scientific investigation. Anatomical observations and acoustic signal processing have led to divergent hypotheses under the framework of a production‐based approach. We attempt to unify these hypotheses by broadening existing data with our new anatomical investigation, interpreted in light of known acoustical properties of mysticete vocalizations. We examined 15 specimens of four rorqual species: sei whale (Baleanoptera borealis), fin whale (Baleanoptera physalus), minke whale (Baleanoptera acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Based on these data and on previous literature, we propose a description of three functional positions (rest, breathing, and recirculation), unidirectional egressive airflow for sound production (from lungs to laryngeal sac), and new nomenclature for different parts of the U‐fold (distal section, midsection, and corniculate flaps). Each of these sections has specific morphological and acoustical properties that support the concept of “mode variation” in baleen whale vocalizations.
0003-276X
1-15
Damien, Juliette
8401c232-cb3d-47d2-8af8-ad662671aaa6
Adam, Olivier
587c3ef6-2d60-4b5d-8c06-77b8a07a8cae
Cazau, Dorian
3478f394-f6b0-4ec3-b8f3-0ab2f92480b0
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Laitman, Jeffrey T.
0c5dd320-d74b-40e7-ad8c-dafa52b3c4a8
Reidenberg, Joy
2eaf0fbb-0922-4ac7-9cdf-10e72211f7da
Damien, Juliette
8401c232-cb3d-47d2-8af8-ad662671aaa6
Adam, Olivier
587c3ef6-2d60-4b5d-8c06-77b8a07a8cae
Cazau, Dorian
3478f394-f6b0-4ec3-b8f3-0ab2f92480b0
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Laitman, Jeffrey T.
0c5dd320-d74b-40e7-ad8c-dafa52b3c4a8
Reidenberg, Joy
2eaf0fbb-0922-4ac7-9cdf-10e72211f7da

Damien, Juliette, Adam, Olivier, Cazau, Dorian, White, Paul, Laitman, Jeffrey T. and Reidenberg, Joy (2018) Anatomy and functional morphology of the mysticete rorqual whale larynx: Phonation positions of the U-fold. The Anatomical Record, 1-15. (doi:10.1002/ar.24034).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Many Mysticetes (baleen whales) are acoustically active marine mammals. This is epitomized by rorquals, and specifically male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) whose complex songs comprise a wide range of vocalizations. The sound production mechanism of odontocetes (toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises) is well described, in contrast to that of mysticetes whose vocalization mechanism remains a subject of active scientific investigation. Anatomical observations and acoustic signal processing have led to divergent hypotheses under the framework of a production‐based approach. We attempt to unify these hypotheses by broadening existing data with our new anatomical investigation, interpreted in light of known acoustical properties of mysticete vocalizations. We examined 15 specimens of four rorqual species: sei whale (Baleanoptera borealis), fin whale (Baleanoptera physalus), minke whale (Baleanoptera acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Based on these data and on previous literature, we propose a description of three functional positions (rest, breathing, and recirculation), unidirectional egressive airflow for sound production (from lungs to laryngeal sac), and new nomenclature for different parts of the U‐fold (distal section, midsection, and corniculate flaps). Each of these sections has specific morphological and acoustical properties that support the concept of “mode variation” in baleen whale vocalizations.

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Mysticete Larynx - Damien et al_ - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 October 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 November 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415669
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415669
ISSN: 0003-276X
PURE UUID: b60bc664-484e-4bb7-ae76-147c24f65986
ORCID for Paul White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-8713

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Date deposited: 17 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 30 Jan 2020 05:14

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