A Reconstructing Technique for the Nasal Air Sacs System in Toothed Whales

  • Vladimir S. Gurevich
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (volume 28)


Durable models of the nasal air sacs system of small delphinids were designed for three dimensional comparative anatomical study, and precise measurements and demonstrations were produced using a new technique. The few previous attempts to model the system were not completely successful (Gurevich, 1969; Mead, 1972; Schenkkan and Purves, 1973; Dormer, 1974). Latex, wax corrosion, and silicone rubber were used for reproducing the nasal air sacs system. Because the solvent in the previously used casting materials causes marked shrinkage (up to 70%) as it vaporizes, modeling of the small tubular and accessory sacs is unsatisfactory; the larger vestibular and premaxillary sacs may also be warped. Wax corrosion casts are very fragile, vinyl corrosions shrivel, and fusible alloy models are distorted.


Bottlenose Dolphin Durable Model External Margin Orcinus Orca Marked Shrinkage 
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  1. Gurevich, V. S., 1969, Reconstruction technique of upper respiratory tract (nasal air sacs system) in Black Sea dolphins (unpublished) .Google Scholar
  2. Mead, J. G., 1972, Anatomy of the external nasal passages and facial complex in the Delphinidae (Mammalia: Cetacea). PH. D. Diss. University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  3. Schenkkan, E. J., Purves, P. E., 1973, The comparative anatomy of the nasal tract and function of the spermaceti organ in the Physiteridae (Mammalia: Odontoceti), Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 43(1):93.Google Scholar
  4. Dormer, K. J., 1974, Reconstruction technique for multiple castings of the sacs in silicone rubber. (Personal communication).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir S. Gurevich

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