Subject: Re: Whale

Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Fri, 14 May 1999 12:49:55 -0400 (EDT)

Question:
Some whales have been found which have the whole of the hind leg structure
>in their bodies which shows a gradual process of evolution that whales were
>land animals way back......have any fossils been found which showed tha
>whale as what it would have looked like before bocoming a marine animal ?
>what was it ?

Reply:
Dear Danish,
In the Eocene, there was a whale that apparently had functional hind limbs.
Originally it was named basilosaurus (King of the reptiles), but in 1839 it
was realized that it was a mammal and not a reptile and it was renamed
zeugloden.

It is believed that around 55 million years ago terrestrial animals with
hooves evolved into an early toothed whale (odontocetes). Mysticete or
baleen whales are believed to be related to the Archaeocetes during the
Eocene era. 50 million years ago the first recognizable cetaceans were
evolving into elongated aquatic mammals with reduced hind limbs and long
snouts that had adapted to shallow, coastal waters. >

Take care, Kim



Kim Marshall-Tilas
Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance
191 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
(781) 259-0423
fax: 259-0288
website: http://www.oceanalliance.org