The purpose of this review is to focus the attention of researchers on studies that may link bone normal and abnormal
physiology and diving conditions in cetaceans. The literature and relative concepts on the locomotory and strainbearing
properties of the cetacean skeleton are summarized and former descriptions compared with more recent studies
that utilize new devices to study the density and structure of mammalian bones. Data reported suggest that re-evaluation
of morphological information accompanied by systemic studies of bone pathology, and application of modern research
methods including X-ray densitometric analysis, may yield new insights into the structure of cetacean locomotor system.
A number of recent relevant reports indicate that cetaceans may suffer from pressure related damages. An increased
knowledge of the skeletal physiology of whales and dolphins may lead to define precisely the vascular or avascular nature
of certain cetacean lesions, and ascertain their possible human (sonar)-related pathogenesis.