Document Detail

Serrated flippers and directional asymmetry in the appendicular skeleton of the Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20830764     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Presence of saw-toothed structures (serrations) on the leading edge of the flippers in the Commerson's dolphin and their relation with directional asymmetry in the appendicular skeleton were investigated in individuals from the Tierra del Fuego population, Argentina. Serrations were more frequent in the left flipper than in the right (P < 0.001) and in males than in females (P < 0.001). Serration length was significantly longer in the left flipper than in the right (P = 0.023), in males than in females (P = 0.004), and in older individuals than young (P < 0.001). The length of the radius (P = 0.028) and the length (P = 0.004), width (P < 0.001) and weight (P = 0.006) of the scapula showed significant directional asymmetry favoring the right side, whereas the length (P < 0.001) and width (P < 0.001) of the second digit favored the left side. The asymmetry appears to be innate in the species but is likely to be enhanced by differential mechanical stress between flippers as a result of lateralized behavior. We propose that the left flipper would be more flexible and preferably used in sensory or tactile activities that involve the serrations, whereas the right flipper would be more responsible for actions requiring a larger muscular exercise, possibly related to the maintenance of stability during swimming.
Encarna Gómez-Campos; Alex Aguilar; R Natalie P Goodall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007)     Volume:  293     ISSN:  1932-8494     ISO Abbreviation:  Anat Rec (Hoboken)     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-01     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101292775     Medline TA:  Anat Rec (Hoboken)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1816-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Animal Biology-Vertebrates, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
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