1995 Volume 57 Issue 4 Pages 665-670
The development and degradation of temporary tooth buds and the development of rudiment of baleen plate were observed by gross-anatomical and histological examinations in twenty-four fetuses of the southern minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata. The primary patterns of development of tooth buds were similar to those of deciduous tooth buds in the terrestrial species. Degradation of tooth buds was observed in the fetuses more than 615 mm body length (BL) and might proceed throughout the dental surface of the tooth buds. That degradation pattern was a little different from that of deciduous tooth buds in terrestrial species, which has a limited degradation area at the root of the tooth buds. In the fetuses with 135 and 153 mm BL, the upper jaw had a larger number of tooth buds than the lower jaw, although the number of buds varied in different individuals. Formation of rudiment of baleen plate was observed with degraded tooth buds in the fetus of 903 mm BL and it may be induced by the degradation of tooth buds.