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Abstract #2321

New Approaches to the Study of Comparative Neuroanatomy in Marine Vertebrates Using MRI: The Whale Shark, Rhincodon Typus, as a Case Study

Kara E. Yopak1, Lawrence R. Frank1

1Center for Scientific Computation in Imaging, UCSD, La Jolla, CA, United States

The study of species with unique behavioral and morphological specializations is critical when teasing apart evolutionary trends, yet becomes difficult, as often these species are extremely rare and invasive methodologies are impractical. This paper examines the use of MRI to obtain high-resolution image data in an important but damaged brain specimen of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, wherein digital reconstruction allowed for non-invasive quantification of its brain organization. We will discuss the effectiveness of MRI as investigative tool for non-invasive visualization and quantification of the internal anatomy of fishes.