Severe soft tissue ossification in a southern right whale Eubalaena australis.

Academic Article


  • The carcass of a stranded southern right whale Eubalaena australis, discovered on the coast of Golfo Nuevo in Península Valdés, Argentina, exhibited extensive orthotopic and heterotopic ossification, osteochondroma-like lesions, and early degenerative joint disease. Extensive soft tissue ossification led to ankylosis of the axial skeleton in a pattern that, in many respects, appeared more similar to a disabling human genetic disorder, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), than to more common skeletal system diseases in cetaceans and other species. This is the first reported case of a FOP-like condition in a marine mammal and raises important questions about conserved mechanisms of orthotopic and heterotopic ossification in this clade.
  • Authors

  • La Sala, Luciano F
  • Pozzi, Luciana M
  • McAloose, Denise
  • Kaplan, Frederick S
  • Shore, Eileen M
  • Kompanje, Erwin JO
  • Sidor, Inga
  • Musmeci, Luciana
  • Uhart, Marcela M
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • December 27, 2012
  • Published In


  • Animals
  • Male
  • Ossification, Heterotopic
  • Whales
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 149
  • End Page

  • 156
  • Volume

  • 102
  • Issue

  • 2