Of course, being the big nerd that I am, I then held up both her hand and my hand next to it, and explained how the bones in the whale’s flipper are actually.She was able to recognize, at two years old, what so many people close their eyes to. This is evidence that whales, as mammals, share a common ancestor with other mammals. Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca (Linnaeus, 1758)) ribs soaked with oil, attracting dust. The sk\leton of a humpback, however, accounts for only 15% of its body weight. The word "whale" comes from the Old English hwæl, from Proto-Germanic *hwalaz, from Proto Indo European *(s)kwal-o-, meaning "large sea fish". ©AMNH/5W Infographics In fact, the bones of cetacean flippers are the same kinds of bones as in the human arm, with an upper arm bone, two forearm bones, and hand, wrist, and finger bones. The stratum granulosum and stratum lucidum layers and true keratinization lack in the structure of the epidermis of killer whales, as in several other delphinids (Harrison and Thurley, 1974). A whale has a femur and pelvis, even though they are underwater mammals. Richard Owen, a rising star in the academic community, carefully scrutinized every bone, and he even received permission to slice into the teeth to study their microscopic structure. From the outside, they don't look much like whales at all. If you look at the skeleton of a whale's fin, notice that all of the bones match up to comparative bones in other mammals. The flippers are controlled by strong pectoral muscles and can vary in size with each species. (Cetacean) bone is comprised of a composite structure of both an inorganic matrix of mainly hydroxylapatite (a calcium phosphate mineral), providing strength and rigidity, as well as an organic protein ‘scaffolding’ of mainly collagen, facilitating growth and repair (O’Connor 2008, CCI 2010). Including the individual bones that make up the skull, our sperm whale has 184 bones. Instead, scientists turned to the high-resolution powers of a CT scanner to get a close look at the structure of the bone. Available at: Higgs, N.D. et.al. Surprisingly whales cannot breathe through their mouth like humans and most land based mammals because their esophagus (food passage) and trachea (air passage) are completely separated from each other. A blue whale, for example, can grow up to 100 feet in length, about the size of a bus, but its pelvic bone … Recently, the possible role of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) on whale … The whale then pushes the water out, and animals such as krill are filtered by the baleen and remain as a food source for the whale. Archaeoceti is an extinct parvorder of Cetacea containing ancient whales. Comparative Anatomy of Whales We can first look at the homologous structures in whales.