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Common Dolphin Skull 3D (D. delphis)
3D "fly-thru" animation (see also 2D image stack) constructed from CT scans of the head of a Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) demonstrating the position of the ears (related publication) in the skull. Dolphin ear bulla (interactive image) are comprised of two major bony structures; the tympanic bone and periotic bone. The tympanic sits ventral to the periotic and houses the middle ear cavity. The periotic sits dorsal to the tympanic and houses the inner ear (cochlea). The ears are not connected to the skull but are attached by suspensory ligaments within the bullar cavity. Specimen courtesy of the Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN/IFAW) (specimen data).