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Sensory anatomy of the most aquatic of carnivorans: the Antarctic Ross seal, and convergences with other mammals


Loza, Cleopatra Mara; Latimer, Ashley E; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R; Carlini, Alfredo A (2017). Sensory anatomy of the most aquatic of carnivorans: the Antarctic Ross seal, and convergences with other mammals. Biology Letters, 13(10):20170489.

Abstract

Transitions to and from aquatic life involve transformations in sensory systems.The Ross seal, Ommatophoca rossii, offers the chance to investigate the cranio-sensory anatomy in the most aquatic of all seals. The use of non-invasive computed tomography on specimens of this rare animal reveals, relative to other species of phocids, a reduction in the diameters of the semicircular canals and the parafloccular volume. These features are independent of size effects. These transformations parallel those recorded in cetaceans, but these do not extend to other morphological features such as the reduction in eye muscles and the length of the neck, emphasizing the independence of some traits in convergent evolution to aquatic life.

Abstract

Transitions to and from aquatic life involve transformations in sensory systems.The Ross seal, Ommatophoca rossii, offers the chance to investigate the cranio-sensory anatomy in the most aquatic of all seals. The use of non-invasive computed tomography on specimens of this rare animal reveals, relative to other species of phocids, a reduction in the diameters of the semicircular canals and the parafloccular volume. These features are independent of size effects. These transformations parallel those recorded in cetaceans, but these do not extend to other morphological features such as the reduction in eye muscles and the length of the neck, emphasizing the independence of some traits in convergent evolution to aquatic life.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:12 September 2017
Deposited On:13 Oct 2017 06:48
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 02:42
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:1744-9561
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2017.0489

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