Baleen: what some whales use instead of teeth

There are two types of whales: baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti). And you might have deduced from this statement that baleen is what some whales use instead of teeth. Baleen is made of keratin, the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. And just like our hair and fingernails, baleen is constantly… [read more]

Balance: the inner ear of whales

Everyone is talking about balance these days, work/life balance, nutritional balance, balance balls, the need for more balance in day to day life, but little is mentioned about the very important vital sense organ that keeps you truly balanced: the inner ear. Without a functioning inner ear your world would be spinning out of control… [read more]

Baculum: the penis bone

Walrus baculum, 22 inches long The “B” section of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals launches with an article by Edward Miller on the baculum. The baculum is a bone located in the penis of several species. For marine mammals this includes polar bears, sea otters, seals, sea lions and walruses. Bacula (plural of baculum) come… [read more]

Anatomical Dissection: marine mammal anatomy 101

If you spend a lot of time wondering where exactly each organ is located in a marine mammal, then the article on anatomical dissection in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals is for you! Authors John Reynolds and Sentiel Rommel painstakingly detail every organ location, anatomical nuance and unusual characteristic known to man by describing and… [read more]