Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 32, Issue 1–4, pp 159–181 | Cite as

Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging studies of Latimeria chalumnae

  • Hans-Peter Schultze
  • Richard Cloutier
Article

Synopsis

Recent radiologic imaging techniques (CT[Computed Tomography] and MRI[Magnetic Resonance Imaging]) were used to investigate the cranial anatomy of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae. The non-invasive CT and MRI techniques were performed successfully on a 1.45 m female specimen. This specimen had been frozen a year earlier for future research; the CT was conducted on the frozen animal, whereas the MRI method was performed immediately after thawing. The CT technique provides information about differential density of the organism (especially informative with respect to hard tissues, bone and cartilage), whereas three different types of MRI (proton resonance T1, T2 and ‘flash’) distinguish cartilage, muscles, and different connective tissues. A total of 381 CT cross sections (2 mm thick with 1 mm of overlap) through the head region were used in a computerized three-dimensional reconstruction program to address questions concerning cranial morphology. The results obtained from these radiologic imaging techniques confirmed most of the basic anatomy known from traditional dissections. However, the morphology of complex structures. such as the cartilaginous processes of the neurocranium, and the integration of the branchial arches and palate can only now be described more accurately.

Key words

Sarcopterygii Actinistia Coelacanth Radiologic techniques Radiology Catscan Morphology 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Peter Schultze
    • 1
  • Richard Cloutier
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Natural History and Department of Systematics and EcologyThe University of KansasLawrenceU.S.A.

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