Morphological Analysis of the Flippers in the Franciscana Dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei, Applying X-Ray Technique

Authors
del Castillo, Daniela Laura; Panebianco, María Victoria; Negri, Maria Fernanda; Cappozzo, Humberto Luis
Publication Year
2014
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Pectoral flippers of cetaceans function to provide stability and maneuverability during locomotion. Directional asymmetry (DA) is a common feature among odontocete cetaceans, as well as sexual dimorphism (SD). For the first time DA, allometry, physical maturity, and SD of the flipper skeleton—by X-ray technique—of Pontoporia blainvillei were analyzed. The number of carpals, metacarpals, phalanges, and morphometric characters from the humerus, radius, ulna, and digit two were studied in franciscana dolphins from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The number of visible epiphyses and their degree of fusion at the proximal and distal ends of the humerus, radius, and ulna were also analyzed. The flipper skeleton was symmetrical, showing a negative allometric trend, with similar growth patterns in both sexes with the exception of the width of the radius (P ≤ 0.01). SD was found on the number of phalanges of digit two (P ≤ 0.01), ulna and digit two lengths. Females showed a higher relative ulna length and shorter relative digit two length, and the opposite occurred in males (P ≤ 0.01). Epiphyseal fusion pattern proved to be a tool to determine dolphin's age; franciscana dolphins with a mature flipper were, at least, four years old. This study indicates that the flippers of franciscana dolphins are symmetrical; both sexes show a negative allometric trend; SD is observed in radius, ulna, and digit two; and flipper skeleton allows determine the age class of the dolphins. Anat Rec, 297:1181–1188, 2014.
Fil: del Castillo, Daniela Laura. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales; Argentina
Fil: Panebianco, María Victoria. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales; Argentina
Fil: Negri, Maria Fernanda. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas; Argentina
Fil: Cappozzo, Humberto Luis. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales; Argentina. Universidad Maimónides. Area de Investigaciones Biomédicas y Biotecnológicas. Centro de Estudios Biomédicos, Biotecnológicos, Ambientales y de Diagnóstico; Argentina
Subject
DIRECTIONAL ASYMMETRY
ALLOMETRY
SEXUAL DIMORPHISM
APPENDICULAR SKELETON
Biología Marina, Limnología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/5253