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The main features of the skull formation in dolphins cetacea during the pre natal period

, : The main features of the skull formation in dolphins cetacea during the pre natal period. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 62(1): 102-112

The data are provided on skull formation in the killer whale, common dolphin, spotted dolphin and long-snout dolphin during the prenatal period [Orca orca, Stenella attenuata, S. longirostris and Delphinus delphis]. A marked similarity in the skull development of these species serves as evidence of the previously forwarded suggestion on monophyletic origin of toothed whales. The formation of skull vault bones in dolphins and sperm whale is subject to individual and interspecific variation and is similar with that in the Theromorpha. The origin and formation of the mentomeckelian bone is 1st described in detail for the toothed whales. The problem of homologization of the skull vault bones in the toothed whales is discussed.

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