The Tympanal Recess of the Cetacean Cochlea: Function and Evolution

Travis Park, Erich M.G. Fitzgerald, Alistair R. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) primarily use sound to communicate and hunt for prey. Their auditory anatomy is highly specialised, but much about its function remains unknown. In particular, a feature of the cochlea known as the tympanal recess present in some mysticetes (baleen whales) and odontocetes (toothed whales) has defied functional explanation. Here, we present and discuss several hypotheses that may clarify the function and evolution of the tympanal recess. One potential function in particular, the vibroacoustic duct mechanism, seems most plausible although further work is needed to test the hypothesis, which hints at the possibility of sperm whales and beaked whales being able to detect both high and low frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalAcoustics Australia
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Cetacea
  • Cochlea
  • Frequency
  • Hearing
  • Tympanal recess
  • Vibroacoustic duct mechanism

Cite this

Park, Travis ; Fitzgerald, Erich M.G. ; Evans, Alistair R. / The Tympanal Recess of the Cetacean Cochlea : Function and Evolution. In: Acoustics Australia. 2017 ; Vol. 45, No. 2. pp. 273-278.
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The Tympanal Recess of the Cetacean Cochlea : Function and Evolution. / Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M.G.; Evans, Alistair R.

In: Acoustics Australia, Vol. 45, No. 2, 01.08.2017, p. 273-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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