Vol. 01, Issue 01
<< prev. next >>
ISSN: 2274-0422

Article Management

You must log in to submit or manage articles.

You do not have an account yet ? Sign up.

MorphoMuseuM Vol. 01, Issue 01
<< prev. article next article >>

Original article : anatomy atlas

Osteological connexions of the petrosal bone of the extant Hippopotamidae Hippopotamus amphibius and Choeropsis liberiensis
Maëva J. Orliac Logo, Franck Guy Logo and Renaud Lebrun Logo
Published online: 24/10/2014

Keywords: Artiodactyla; bulla; ear region; pygmy hippo; sinus

References: 24
Cited by: 7

Cite this article: Maëva J. Orliac, Franck Guy and Renaud Lebrun, 2014. Osteological connexions of the petrosal bone of the extant Hippopotamidae Hippopotamus amphibius and Choeropsis liberiensis. MorphoMuseuM 1 (1)-e1. doi: 10.18563/m3.1.1.e1

Export citation


This project presents the osteological connexions of the petrosal bone of the extant Hippopotamidae Hippopotamus amphibius and Choeropsis liberiensis by a virtual osteological dissection of the ear region. The petrosal, the bulla, the sinuses and the major morphological features surrounding the petrosal bone are labelled, both in situ and in an exploded model presenting disassembly views. The directional underwater hearing mode of Hippopotamidae is discussed based on the new observations. 

Specimens and 3D Data

Choeropsis liberiensis UPPal-M09-5-005a View specimen


Labelled compact model of the right ear region of Choeropsis liberiensis (UPPal-M09-5-005a)

Type: "3D_surfaces"

doi: 10.18563/m3.sf1   state:published

Download 3D surface file


Labelled exploded model of the right ear region of Choeropsis liberiensis (UPPal-M09-5-005a)

Type: "3D_surfaces"

doi: 10.18563/m3.sf2   state:published

Download 3D surface file

Hippopotamus amphibius UM N179 View specimen


Labelled compact model of the right ear region of Hippopotamus amphibius (UM N 179)

Type: "3D_surfaces"

doi: 10.18563/m3.sf3   state:published

Download 3D surface file


Labelled exploded model of the right ear region of Hippopotamus amphibius (UM N 179)

Type: "3D_surfaces"

doi: 10.18563/m3.sf4   state:published

Download 3D surface file


Published in Vol. 01, Issue 01 (2015)


Barklow, W. E., 1994. Big talkers. Wildlife Conservation 97, 20-29.

Barklow, W. E., 1997 Some underwater sounds of the hippopotamus (hippopotamus amphibius). Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 29(1-4), 237-249.

Barklow, W. E., 2004. Amphibious communication with sound in hippos, Hippopotamus amphibius. Animal behaviour 68, 1125-1132.

Geisler, J. H., and Z. Luo, 1998. Relationships of Cetacea to terrestrial ungulates and the evolution of cranial vasculature in Cete. In Thewissen, J.G.M. (Ed.), The emergence of whales. New York: Plenum Press, pp. 163-212.

Geisler, J. H., Uhen, M. D., 2003. Morphological support for a close relationship between hippos and whales. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(4), 991-996. 

Geisler, J. H., Theodor, J. M., Uhen, M. D., Foss, S. E., 2007. Phylogenetic relationships of cetaceans to terrestrial artiodactyls. In Prothero, D. R, Foss, S. E (Eds.), The Evolution of Artiodactyls. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 19-31.

Giannini N, P., Wible, J. R., Simmons, N. B., 2006. On the cranial osteology of Chiroptera. I. Pteropus (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 295, 134 pp.[0001:OTCOOC]2.0.CO;2

Hoffmann, A., Stoffel, M. H., Nitzsche B., Lobsien D., Seeger J., et al., 2014. The Ovine Cerebral Venous System: Comparative Anatomy, Visualization, and Implications for Translational Research. PLoS ONE 9(4), e92990. 

Irwin, D. M., Kocher, T. D., Wilson, A. C., 1991. Evolution of the cytochrome b gene of mammals. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 32, 128-144. 

Ketten, D. R., 1994. Functional analysis of whale ears: Adaptations for underwater hearing. I.E.E.E. Proceedings in Underwater Acoustics 1, 264-270.

Lebrun, R., 2014. ISE-MeshTools, a 3D interactive fossil reconstruction freeware. 12th Annual Meeting of EAVP, Torino, Italy.

Luo Z., Gingerich P. D., 1999. Terrestrial Mesonychia to aquatic Cetacea: Transformation of the basicranium and evolution of hearing in whales. University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology 31, 1-98.

Miyamoto, M. M., Goodman, M., 1986. Biomolecular Systematics of Eutherian Mammals: Phylogenetic Patterns and Classification. Systematic Biology 35(2), 230-240. 

Montgelard, C., Catzeflis, F. M., Douzery, E., 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of artiodactyls and cetaceans as deduced from the comparison of cytochrome b and 12s rRNA mitochondrial sequences. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14, 550-559.

Nummela, S., Thewissen, J. G. M., 2008. The physics of sound in air and water. In Thewissen, J. G. M., and Nummela, S (Eds.), Sensory evolution on the threshold adaptations in secondarily aquatic vertebrates. University of California press, pp. 175-181.

O’Leary, M. A., 2010. An anatomical and phylogenetic study of the osteology of the petrosal of extant and extinct artiodactylans (Mammalia) and relatives. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 335, 206 pp.

O’Leary, M. A., Gatesy J., 2008. Impact of increased character sampling on the phylogeny of Cetartiodactyla (Mammalia): combined analysis including fossils. Cladistics 23, 1-46.

O’Leary, M. A., Patel, B. A., Coleman, M. N., 2012. Endocranial petrosal anatomy of Bothriogenys (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) and petrosal volume and density comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial artiodactyls and outgroups. Journal of Paleontology 86, 44-50.

Orliac M. J., Antoine P.-O., A.-L. Charruault, Hervet S., Prodeo F., Duranthon F., 2013. Specialization for amphibiosis of Brachyodus onoideus (Artiodactyla, Hippopotamoidea) from the early Miocene of France Swiss Journal of Geosciences 106(2), 265-278.

Pearson, H. S., 1927. On the skulls of early Tertiary Suidae, together with an account of the otic region in some other primitive Artiodactyla. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 215, 389-460.

Reysenbach de Haan, F. W., 1960. Some aspects of mammalian hearing under water. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 152B, 54-62.

Wible, J. R., 1990. Late Cretaceous marsupial petrosal bones from North America and a cladistic analysis of the petrosal in therian mammals. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 10, 183-205.

Wile, J. R., 1993. Cranial Circulation and Relationships of the Colugo Cynocephalus (Dermoptera, Mammalia). American Museum Novitates 3072, 27pp.

Wible, J. R., 2011. On the Treeshrew Skull (Mammalia, Placentalia, Scandentia). Annals of Carnegie Museum 79(3), 149-230. 

Cited by:

Maeva Judith Orliac and Guillaume Billet (2016). Fallen in a dead ear: intralabyrinthine preservation of stapes in fossil artiodactyls. Palaeovertebrata.

Mickaël J. Mourlam and Maeva J. Orliac (2017). Infrasonic and Ultrasonic Hearing Evolved after the Emergence of Modern Whales. Current Biology.

Zoran Zorić, Olivera Lozanče, Darko Marinković, Miloš Blagojević, Ivana Nešić, Natalija Demus and Milena Đorđević (2018). Skull Bone Anatomy of the Young Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus Amphibius). Acta Veterinaria.

Christophe Mallet, Raphaël Cornette and Jean‐Luc Guadelli (2019). Morphometrical distinction between sheep (Ovis aries) and goat (Capra hircus) using the petrosal bone: Application on French Protohistoric sites. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

Alexandra Houssaye, Florian Martin, Jean-Renaud Boisserie and Fabrice Lihoreau (2021). Paleoecological Inferences from Long Bone Microanatomical Specializations in Hippopotamoidea (Mammalia, Artiodactyla). Journal of Mammalian Evolution.

Maeva J. Orliac and J. G. M. Thewissen (2021). The Endocranial Cast of Indohyus (Artiodactyla, Raoellidae): The Origin of the Cetacean Brain. Journal of Mammalian Evolution.

Maëva J Orliac, Mickaël J Mourlam, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Loïc Costeur and Fabrice Lihoreau (2023). Evolution of semiaquatic habits in hippos and their extinct relatives: insights from the ear region. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.