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Whale head CT image

Whale Heads and Tales

Scientists need to get inside the heads of whales to learn how they sense sound. Even before they study a whale's ears, scientists examine its anatomy to get a sense of the pathways in the head through which sound travels. They put heads from dead, stranded whales through the CT scanner at the Computerized Scanning and Imaging Lab at WHOI, part of the Institution's Marine Mammal Center. With the CT data, the scientists can create three-dimensional images of internal anatomy, such as the whale head above, and recreate the shape and orientation of soft tissues. (Photo courtesy of Maya Yamato and WHOI CSI facility, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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