Authors : Erdal Ozmen
Abstract: This study describes the vertebral column of a long-finned pilot whale, a member of the dolphin family using material from a dead specimen. The vertebral bones were separated from the soft tissues and investigated anatomically. A dolphins vertebral column is formed of 62 bones: 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 17 lumbar and 26 caudal vertebrae. There are 5 visible cervical vertebrae (1st and 2nd are fused as are 5th and 6th). The first four thoracic vertebrae have 2 articular faces for ribs located at the tips of the transverse processes while the others have only one. The vertebral canal through the lumbar vertebrae has a triangular cross-section. The caudal vertebrae have various shapes. Although, the first 20 caudal vertebrae are not fully developed, they do have complete anatomical structures such as transverse and spinous processes and the last 19 have 2 symmetrically disposed foramina in their bodies. The vertebral foramen extends from the 1st cervical to the 17th caudal vertebra. Sacral vertebrae were not identified.
Erdal Ozmen , 2011. Columna Vertebralis in a Dolphin (Globicephala meleana). Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 10: 1244-1249.