This chapter is intended as an instructional guide for the removal, fixation and preservation of
auditory system tissues of marine mammals. Each section describes procedures for a major ear type for
marine mammals. The main intention is to provide both inexperienced and seasoned stranding responders
with sufficient instructions to locate, document and remove all structures related to the ears and hearing in
order to optimize the fixation and preservation of these tissues for later, more extensive examination. It is
strongly recommended that examination be performed collaboratively with auditory system experts, but
careful documentation and preservation are the critical first steps that will allow accurate diagnoses.