Subject: abstract - arterial system of sperm whale (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 23:20:37 -0500 (EST)

Subject: abstract - arterial system of sperm whale

     Melnikov, V.V.  1997.  The arterial system of the sperm whale
     (_Physeter macrocephalus_). Journal of Morphology 234:  37-50.

     The angioarchitecture of the sperm whale is basically similar to that
     of other mammals, but it has specific attributes associated with the
     aquatic environment of this animal and its tolerance for deep and long
     diving. Specialized features include an expansive aortic arch,
     unusually far anterior localization of the arch, symmetrical branching
     of common carotid and subclavian arteries from the aorta, the
     absence of direct connection between internal carotid arteries and
     brain arteries, the absence of a costocervical artery, and the
     presence of a well-developed occipital artery. The sperm whale has
     extraordinarily well-developed retia mirabilia, distributed in the
     cranial cavity, vertebral canal, neck and thoracic cavity, around the
     optic nerve, and in the walls of the uterus. These retia are more
     extensively developed in the sperm whale than in any other cetacean
     previously studied.