Whale echolocation and evolution

From: Erich Hoyt (EHoyt@compuserve.com)
Date: Mon Oct 21 2002 - 19:33:46 EDT

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    -------------------- Begin Original Message --------------------

    Message text written by "Brian D."

    "
    Dear Dr.,

    I am having a problem reseraching some info on the evolution of whales. I
    have a friend who has a problem with the Theory of Evolution, and claims
    that when the blowhole moved "upwards" in the skull and the echolocation
    device in the nasal cavity developed, the two would have run into each
    other, thus invalidating evolutionary science. I am not familiar with the
    anatomy of ceteacens (sp?), and my guess was that the echolocation
    developed later in the whale line. Could you give me some advice/references
    and data to asnwer this problem?

    Thank you for your time,

    Otaku_Faith@yahoo.com
    "
    -------------------- End Original Message --------------------

    I am not an anatomist but I think there is every reason to suspect that the
    blowhole moved to its present position as cetaceans adapted to the sea and
    that echolocation came as whales moved into deeper water and needed extra
    tools for hunting in the darkness of the depths.

    As land-based creatures, the ancestors of whales would presumably not have
    needed echolocation or an organ that would produce this.

    I think evolutionary science is safe in any case.



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