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The manus of pseudorca crassidens a study of variability


, : The manus of pseudorca crassidens a study of variability. Investigations on Cetacea 13: 101-124

A total of 213 flippers of P. crassidens was analyzed, comprising 95 pairs and 23 individual flippers. The latter included the left flipper of a 42 cm long fetus. The flippers came from 118 individuals of different ages (from a few months to 24 yr). The variability of the hand skeleton of Pseudorca does not correlate with the variability of the rest of the skeleton. Comparison of the Pseudorca hand skeleton with that of 6 other odontocetes [Globicephala melaena, Inia geoffrensis, Pontoporia blainvillei, Platanista indi, P. gangetica and Delphinapterus leucas] shows that the intermedium (lunar) and unciform are always present as independent bones and only in Pseudorca are they sometimes joined with other carpalia. The centrale is the most commonly missing bone; it only constantly occurs as a separate bone in Platanista indi. The trapezium and radiale are the carpal elements most frequently subject to fusion. Only in I. geoffrensis are they always separate. Of the 7 spp. examined, Pseudorca crassidens is the only one in which each carpal element may be fused with another carpal bone, and I. geoffrensis the only species where no fusion in the carpus occurs at all.

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