Severe soft tissue ossification in a southern right whale Eubalaena australis

Dis Aquat Organ. 2012 Dec 27;102(2):149-56. doi: 10.3354/dao02538.

Abstract

The carcass of a stranded southern right whale Eubalaena australis, discovered on the coast of Golfo Nuevo in Península Valdés, Argentina, exhibited extensive orthotopic and heterotopic ossification, osteochondroma-like lesions, and early degenerative joint disease. Extensive soft tissue ossification led to ankylosis of the axial skeleton in a pattern that, in many respects, appeared more similar to a disabling human genetic disorder, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), than to more common skeletal system diseases in cetaceans and other species. This is the first reported case of a FOP-like condition in a marine mammal and raises important questions about conserved mechanisms of orthotopic and heterotopic ossification in this clade.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Male
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / pathology
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / veterinary*
  • Whales*