Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Sensory Organ Found In Whales

A baby humpback whale plays at the surface. Biologists recently discovered that humpback whales have a sensory organ in their chin. Credit: iStockphoto

New Sensory Organ Found In Whales -- Cosmos/AFP

PARIS: Biologists have discovered a new sensory organ on blue, humpback, minke and fin whales that helps explain why these mammals are so huge.

In a study appearing in the journal Nature, researchers in the United States and Canada said the organ is located at the tip of the whale's chin, in a niche of fibrous tissue that connects the lower jaw bones.

Comprising a node of nerves, the organ orchestrates dramatic changes in jaw position that are essential for "lunge" feeding by the rorqual family of whales, Earth's biggest vertebrates.

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My Comment: We learn something new everyday.

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