do whales have ankles?

From: Greg Early (gearly@neaq.org)
Date: Mon Jan 22 2001 - 10:28:30 EST


Emily,

Well, as far as I know they have not for about 50 million years or so.
Although modern whales do retain small vestiges of pelvic limbs, the bones
are quite fused together into a single (or sometimes double unit).
Probably one of the last whale ancestors to have functional ankle bones
would have been the extinct Basilosaurus. This web
site...http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/gould_leviathan.html...has a
description and a picture of the reconstructed bones of the hind limbs...

At 02:50 AM 1/22/01 -0500, you wrote:
>I know whale flippers have bones sort of like a human hand (metacarpals)
>and that before they evolved into their modern form whales used to have hind
>limbs as well. My question is ... do they still have ankle bones
>(metatarsals) ?
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