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Title: Cetaceans Humerus Radiodensity by CT: A Useful Technique Differentiating between Species, Ecophysiology, and Age
Authors: Consoli, Francesco Mª Achille 
Bernaldo de Quirós, Yara 
Arbelo Hernández, Manuel Antonio 
Fulle, Stefania
Marchisio, Marco
Encinoso, Mario
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio J. 
Rivero Santana, Miguel Antonio 
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
240113 Fisiología animal
Keywords: Bone
Computed Tomography
Issue Date: 2022
Journal: Animals 
Abstract: Cetaceans are mammals that underwent a series of evolutionary adaptations to live in the aquatic environment, including morphological modifications of various anatomical structures of the skeleton and their bone mineral density (BMD); there are few studies on the latter. BMD is related to the radiodensity measured through computed tomography (CT) in Hounsfield units (HU). This work aimed to test and validate the usefulness of studying humeral bone radiodensity by CT of two cetacean species (the Atlantic spotted dolphin and the pygmy sperm whale) with different swimming and diving habits. The radiodensity was analysed at certain levels following a new protocol based on a review of previous studies. Humeral radiodensity values were related to four aspects: species, diving behaviour, swimming activity level, and age. We observed that the consistent differences in the radiodensity of the cortical bone of the distal epiphysis between animals of different life-history categories suggest that this bone portion could be particularly useful for future ontogenetic studies. Hence, this technique may be helpful in studying and comparing species with different ecophysiologies, particularly distinguishing between swimming and diving habits.
ISSN: 2076-2615
DOI: 10.3390/ani12141793
Source: Animals [EISSN 2076-2615], v. 12 (14), 1793, (Julio 2022)
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