Navigation Links
A whale of a discovery: New sensory organ found in rorqual whales
Date:5/23/2012

Scientists at the University of British Columbia and the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a sensory organ in rorqual whales that coordinates its signature lunge-feeding behaviour and may help explain their enormous size.

Rorquals are a subgroup of baleen whales including blue, fin, minke and humpback whales. They are characterized by a special, accordion-like blubber layer that goes from the snout to the navel. The blubber expands up to several times its resting length to allow the whales to engulf large quantities of prey-laden water, which is then expelled through the baleen to filter krill and fish.

The study, to be featured on the cover of the journal Nature, details the discovery of an organ at the tip of the whale's chin, lodged in the ligamentous tissue that connects their two jaws.

NB: Illustrations of lunge-feeding and the location of the sensory organ, photos of the researchers at work at the Icelandic whaling station and a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions are available at http://nmnh.typepad.com/pyenson_lab/nature-rorquals-organ.html.

Samples were collected from recently deceased fin and minke whale carcasses captured as part of Icelandic commercial whaling operations. Commercial whaling in Iceland resumed in 2006 and quotas are determined annually by its government.

Scanning of the whale's chin revealed a grape fruit-sized sensory organ, located between the tips of the jaws, and supplied by neurovascular tissue.

The research team was assisted by technicians at FPInnovations, the owner of Canada's only X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) machine large enough to accommodate the massive specimens. Used to scan giant logs, the XRCT machine provides a three dimensional map of the internal structure of whale tissues.

"We think this sensory organ sends information to the brain in order to coordinate the complex mechanism of lunge-feeding, which involves rotating the jaws, inver
'/>"/>

Contact: Heather Amos
heather.amos@ubc.ca
604-822-3213
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Whale population size, dynamics determined based on ancient DNA
2. Study amplifies understanding of hearing in baleen whales
3. New iPad, iPhone app helps mariners avoid endangered right whales
4. How to make high-end perfumes without whale barf
5. Ancient whale species sheds new light on its modern relatives
6. Giant squids giant eyes: The better to see hungry whales with
7. Genetic survey of endangered Antarctic blue whales shows surprising diversity
8. Blue whale behavior affected by man-made noise
9. What do killer whales eat in the Arctic?
10. Can we save the whales by putting a price on them?
11. Details of ancient shark attack preserved in fossil whale bone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/22/2014)... and the bees. But that old expression leaves ... fertilization process for flowering plants is particularly complex ... female reproductive cells. New research from an international ... including Carnegie,s Wolf Frommer, David Ehrhardt, and Guido ... that guides flowering plant fertilization. It is published ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... unknown process for harvesting energy and producing oxygen from ... University scientist has discovered. The discovery lays the foundation ... energy from the Sun, and understanding dense blooms like ... worldwide. A paper describing the discovery will be published ... journal Science on 21 August 2014. , ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... Nine researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC ... World,s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014," a comprehensive ... a web resource for science metrics and research performance ... the most influential "are performing and publishing work that ... their science," according to a Thomson Reuters statement. Researchers ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Calcium and reproduction go together 2Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis 2Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis 3BIDMC researchers named among 'the most influential scientific minds' 2BIDMC researchers named among 'the most influential scientific minds' 3
... people experience X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanners when they are evaluated ... of Dr. Quin Liu, PhD., in Wuhan China, rice plants were ... of an agriculture study to increase rice yield. Into the ... in an automated facility that could process 4,320 rice plants a ...
... Inspired by Mother Nature, scientists are reporting development of ... to survive in a dormant condition for long periods despite ... in Journal of the American Chemical Society , they ... that protect anthrax and certain other bacterial cells, making those ...
... known that landfills produce methane, but had a hard time ... as a friendly environment for the organisms that produce methane. ... species of microbe is paving the way for other methane ... called Methanosarcina barkeri appears to be the key ...
Cached Biology News:Seeing rice with X-rays may improve crop yields 2Researchers ID microbe responsible for methane from landfills 2
(Date:8/21/2014)... 2014 DNA vaccine pioneer Immunomic ... development of JRC-LAMP-vax, an innovative and safe potential treatment ... studies began this month in Hawaii, moving the world ... The Japanese red cedar releases pollen that causes devastating ... Cedar pollen wreaks similar havoc in Colorado, New Mexico ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... Emmetsburg, IA (PRWEB) August 21, 2014 ... Project LIBERTY Opening , The Court of His Majesty ... King will attend the Grand Opening of POET-DSM Advanced ... on Wednesday, Sept. 3. , The King will take ... formal opening activity, scheduled for 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m. and ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... 21, 2014 OTC Markets Group ... a biotechnology company, on its approval to list ... on OTCQX®, the best marketplace for established U.S. ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110118/MM31963LOGO ... execution of its growth strategy and achievement of ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... 21, 2014 Gallus BioPharmaceuticals ... development and manufacturing organization (CMO) announced today that ... an oncology company focused on the development of ... manufacture the anti-prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) monoclonal ... Under the agreement the antibody will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Relief for Allergy Sufferers Finally in Sight: Immunomic Therapeutics Closes in on Treatment for Hay Fever in Japan, U.S. 2Relief for Allergy Sufferers Finally in Sight: Immunomic Therapeutics Closes in on Treatment for Hay Fever in Japan, U.S. 3Relief for Allergy Sufferers Finally in Sight: Immunomic Therapeutics Closes in on Treatment for Hay Fever in Japan, U.S. 4His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, to Attend Project LIBERTY opening 2His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, to Attend Project LIBERTY opening 3OTC Markets Group Congratulates Immune Pharmaceuticals on NASDAQ Listing 2Gallus Enters Agreement with Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for Manufacture of Anti-PSMA Monoclonal Antibody 2Gallus Enters Agreement with Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for Manufacture of Anti-PSMA Monoclonal Antibody 3
... Jennerex, Inc., a private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on ... products for cancer, today presented preliminary data from a ... with advanced liver cancer showing a benefit in overall ... from the study HEP007 indicated that the risk of ...
... 19, 2011 Metabolex, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused ... for the treatment of metabolic diseases, announced today that ... arhalofenate (MBX-102), its product candidate for the management of ... double-blind, placebo-controlled study will evaluate the safety and urate-lowering ...
... May 19, 2011 Reportlinker.com announces that ... in its catalogue: Global ... This report analyzes the ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for ...
Cached Biology Technology:Jennerex and Partners Present Positive JX-594 Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Data Showing Promising Survival Benefit in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer 2Jennerex and Partners Present Positive JX-594 Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Data Showing Promising Survival Benefit in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer 3Jennerex and Partners Present Positive JX-594 Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Data Showing Promising Survival Benefit in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer 4Jennerex and Partners Present Positive JX-594 Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Data Showing Promising Survival Benefit in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer 5Metabolex Initiates Phase 2 Trial of Arhalofenate 2Global Biosimilars Industry 2Global Biosimilars Industry 3Global Biosimilars Industry 4Global Biosimilars Industry 5Global Biosimilars Industry 6Global Biosimilars Industry 7Global Biosimilars Industry 8Global Biosimilars Industry 9Global Biosimilars Industry 10