By Topic

Topographical distribution of lipids inside the mandibular fat bodies of odontocetes: remarkable complexity and consistency

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

4 Author(s)
Koopman, H.N. ; Biol. Sci., Univ. of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC ; Budge, S.M. ; Ketten, D.R. ; Iverson, S.J.

Odontocetes possess unusual and specialized mandibular fat bodies in and around their lower jaws. These tissues have been proposed to facilitate sound reception and are composed of unusual endogenously synthesized lipids. Little is known about how the topographical arrangement of the lipid molecules in these tissues influences sound reception. We examined the lipid composition of the mandibular fat bodies, using a fine-scale approach, on six specimens (representing four odontocete families). We show that odontocete jaw lipids exhibit a complex structural three-dimensional topography. Different odontocetes synthesize and deposit slightly different molecules, but the relative arrangement of the lipids within each head showed marked consistency. Mandibular fats of beaked whales were uniquely dominated by isolauric acid (i-12:0). In contrast, the dolphin and porpoise biosynthesized isovaleric acid (i-5:0), while the pygmy sperm whale deposited medium-length (10-14 carbons) straight-chain lipids. In all heads examined, the shortest and branched-chain ("i") fatty acids were concentrated in the center of the jaw fats, which connect intimately with the ears. We hypothesize that in odontocete jaws, this arrangement may serve to channel an incoming sound to the ears because sound travels slower through shorter branched-chain fatty acids than through longer straight-chain fatty acids

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 1 )