Layers of muscle

From Bruce Reidenburg:

The scientists are now exploring the layers of muscle on the sides of the whale. There is an interesting highly developed muscle that is special to the youngest baby whales. Since fetal whales are curled sideways in utero, this special adapted muscle unfolds the tail after the whale is born.

In people these muscles pull the back straight when standing. In the baby whale, this muscle is very powerful and becomes less developed as the animal ages. In humans, this is only one of a series of muscles that straighten the backwhen standing, so it is weak in baby humans and gets stronger as we learn to walk and run.

There is another interesting adaptation that is becoming visible during today’s dissection. The muscles of the abdominal wall involved in flexing ventrally are attaching to the broad non-respiratory ribs. In humans these muscles attach to the anterior part of the pelvis. In whales, these muscles are positioned to help propel the body wave during swimming. As we go deeper, we will find out what structures are tied to the whale’s small residual pelvis.

7 Responses

  1. Aaron

    Hi,
    Can you tell me if there was any sort of cartilaginous or ossified femur remnant attached to the pelvis?

    I’ve recorded instances of a femur remnant in all baleen whales but the pygmy right whale and sei whale so far.

    Was hoping if you could shed some light.

    Reply
  2. timbo

    What did that taste like? would you say white or red wine with whale

    Reply
  3. Christina

    you killed a baby whale for this?

    Reply
  4. janekeig

    Hi Tammy

    The scientists are currently writing up their findings – stayed tuned!

    Reply
  5. Tammy Moore

    You wrote: “As we go deeper, we will find out what structures are tied to the whale’s small residual pelvis.”

    I am curious about what you found. So many structures that have been declared vestigal in the past have turned up to have function. I am curious about if the pelvis has any hint that it is still performing a function too. Care to post?

    Reply
  6. lucas

    il est grand cte morco de viande miammiam

    Reply

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