To demonstrate the kinds of data that can be obtained non-destructively and non-invasively from preserved museum specimens using modern imaging technology the head region of a whole body fetal specimen of the common dolphin, Delphinus delphis, aged 8–9 months post-conception, was scanned using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Series of scans were obtained in coronal, sagittal and horizontal planes. A digital three-dimensional reconstruction of the whole brain was prepared from the coronal series of scans. Sectional areas and three-dimensional volumes were obtained of the cerebral hemispheres and of the brainstemplus-cerebellum. Neuroanatomical features identified in the scans include the major sulci of the cerebral hemispheres, well-differentiated regions of gray and white matter, the mesencephalic, pontine, and cervical flexures, the “foreshortened’’ appearance of the forebrain, and the large auditory inferior colliculi. These findings show that numerous features of the fetal common dolphin brain can be visualized and analyzed from MRI scans.
Marino, L., Murphy, T. L., Gozal, L., & Johnson, J. I. (2001). Magnetic resonance imaging and three-dimensional reconstructions of the brain of a fetal common dolphin, Delphinus delphis. Anatomy and embryology, 203(5), 393-402.