Study says the ancestral whale was four legged that straddled land and

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Study says the ancestral whale was four legged that straddled land and sea One particular fossilised missing link found in India suggests that the last whale precursors took to the water in times of danger but came onto land to give birth and eat Current Affairs:Whales belong in the ocean right That may be true today but cetaceans whales dolphins porpoises actually descended from four legged mammals that once lived on land. New research published in Current Biology reports the discovery in Peru of an entirely new species of ancestral whale that straddled land and sea providing insight into the

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weird evolutionary journey of our mammalian friends. We might think of them as smooth two-flippered ocean swimmers that struggle to even survive the Thames but whales originated more than 50m years ago from artiodactyls – land-dwelling hooved mammals. Initially whales’ ancestors resembled small deer with four toes each one ending in a small hoof. One particular fossilised “missing link” found in Indiasuggests that the last whale precursors took to the water in times of danger but came onto land to give birth and eat. They would spend considerable time wading in shallow water foraging for aquatic vegetation and invertebrates and eventually small fish and amphibians. The oldest prehistoric whale fossils date from 53m years ago and were found at sites in the northern Indian Himalayas and present day Pakistan. The fossil record tells the story of a gradual transition from wading to living most of the time in deeper water like otters or beavers while retaining the ability to walk on land. Continue Reading

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