From Land to Sea: The Evolution of Whales
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From Land to Sea: The Evolution of Whales. Nicholas McDonald. Early Ancestors. Pakicetus was a small land predator that lived in coastal habitats. It shows similar ear structure to modern whales that is unlike any other mammals.

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Early ancestors
Early Ancestors

Pakicetus was a small land predator that lived in coastal habitats.

It shows similar ear structure to modern whales that is unlike any other mammals.

Ambulocetus was more adapted to aquatic life and spent time both in and out of water.


Maiacetus
Maiacetus

The next step in whale evolution Maiacetus lived a lifestyle similar to sea lions today.


The aquatic leap
The Aquatic Leap

Dorudon was the first ancient whale to live a fully aquatic lifestyle.

Tail flukes have developed but vestigial hind limbs are still plainly visible.


Whale evogram
Whale Evogram

None of these ancient whales are direct ancestors of modern whales as far as we know.

Whale Evolution Video



Cited works
Cited Works

Smithsonian Institute: http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-videos/evolution-whales-animation

National Geographic: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/08/whale-evolution/mueller-text/2

Understanding Evolution: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03

PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/4/l_034_05.html


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