Feeding Morphology Chapter uri icon


  • Functional morphology is a diverse field of biology that integrates anatomy, biomechanics, and behavior. It is the study of structure, its relationship to function, and organismal adaptation. Marine mammals, and their adaptations to the aquatic environment, have interested functional morphologists for long time. The phylogenetic history of the organism of interest is of paramount importance. This is particularly true for functional morphology and comparative biomechanics. The fact that "marine mammals" are a diverse collection of nonrelated mammals that have returned to the sea is not only an important consideration for functional studies but also it makes marine mammals an interesting study group regarding convergent evolution of form and function, and phylogenetic constraint. A necessity for survival of any organism is to feed and forage. The aquatic environment imparts strong selection pressures on feeding adaptations of marine mammals, as well as other life history attributes. 2009 Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Marshall, C. D.

Book Title

  • Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM