Until recently, there have been relatively few studies of brain mass and morphology in fossil cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) because of difficulty accessing the matrix that fills the endocranial cavity of fossil cetacean skulls. As a result, our knowledge about cetacean brain evolution has been quite limited. By applying the noninvasive technique of computed tomography (CT) to visualize, measure, and reconstruct the endocranial morphology of fossil cetacean skulls, we can gain vastly more information at an unprecedented rate about cetacean brain evolution. Here, we discuss our method and demonstrate it with several examples from our fossil cetacean database. This approach will provide new insights into the little-known evolutionary history of cetacean brain evolution.
Marino, L., Uhen, M. D., Pyenson, N. D., & Frohlich, B. (2003). Reconstructing cetacean brain evolution using computed tomography. The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist, 272(1), 107-117.