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Author Topic: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?  (Read 2474 times)

Offline Titanscape

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Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« on: 27/02/2012 12:56:21 »
Are there any fossils records of whales or Dolphins with smaller brains?


 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #1 on: 27/02/2012 16:34:37 »
Doubtless this is a reference to the recent creationist's revelation that a fossil whale brain has been confirmed by Brian Thomas, M.S., Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Perhaps you could enlighten me on the letters M.S. after Mr Thomas's name. What do they stand for?

Anyway, to answer your question, yes, an early species of whale, the Basilosaurus, had a much smaller brain than today's whales. It was at first thought to have been a lizard (hence the dinosaur type name) but has now been pretty much established as a very early whale.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #2 on: 28/02/2012 03:04:49 »
Well I am not a creation scientist, I have not much looked into what it is? You must read a lot.

Whales originally came from a kind of ungulate right?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #3 on: 28/02/2012 05:07:19 »
Whales originally came from a kind of ungulate right?

what ever it was it had legs ... http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#atavisms_ex1
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #4 on: 28/02/2012 09:59:15 »
Fossils recently found in Pakistan and named as ‘Pakicetus’ are thought to be the earliest, and possibly last terrestrial, ancestors of the Whale, dating to the Eocene, about 50 million years ago. This has been established by the similarity between this prehistoric animal’s ear and that of the modern whale.

They were small mammals and were closely related to an early pig like mammal. So, as RD wrote, it had legs and yes, they would probably have been an ungulate. After a few million years, the ‘Walking Whale’ Ambulocetus , is distinctly more whale like and has become more amphibious. This may have been the stepping stone to the Rodhocetus, again even more amphibious and with a skeleton suited to life in water.

These early whales were toothed and more crocodile like than whale like, as in the case of Basilosaurus. Hardly any wonder that Basilosaurus was thought to have been a lizard until these fossils of the earliest whales (Pakicetus) were discovered in Pakistan.

By 35 million years ago, the giant whales, such as Basilosaurus and Durodon have appeared and another 10 million years later, Aetiocetus, a relatively small whale, shows the first signs of baleen plates growing alongside it’s teeth. This would be the split in which the toothed whales go on to become the Sperm Whale, Killer Whale, White Whale, Dolphins etc. and baleen whales develop into the  Humpback, Bowhead, Right and Blue Whale etc.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #5 on: 01/03/2012 01:22:01 »
Thanks, interesting facts and pictures.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Whale and Dolphin Evolution?
« Reply #5 on: 01/03/2012 01:22:01 »

 

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