‘Walking Whale’ Fossil Discovered In Peru: 40-Million-Year-Old Specimen May Be Link Between Aquatic and Land Mammals

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Paleontologists in Peru have uncovered the fossils of a "walking whale," remains believed to be at least 40 million years old. The whale fossils were found in the Ocucaje desert, one of the richest sources of fossils in the world, and may be evidence of a link between sea mammals and their ancestors living on land.

"We already knew about the paleontological richness of Ocucaje dating back 10-12 million years," said Rodolfo Salas, a paleontologist who was part of the discovery team. "Now we can say that the most important primitive sea mammal deposit in South America is at Ocucaje."

The whale fossils belong to a creature in the suborder Archaeoceti, meaning "ancient whales." These sea mammals share certain characteristics with their land-dwelling ancestors, most notably evidence of legs. The whale had teeth that were more like that of a terrestrial animal, as well as a cavity in the cranium that is more consistent with land mammals than sea mammals.

Written By: Josh Lieberman
continue to source article at isciencetimes.com

11 COMMENTS

  1. Evolution is faster than once suspected. To think these things evolved to be fully marine and gigantic within only a few million years. It’s like how a chimp-sized brain evolved into a human-sized brain more recently.

  2. “We already knew about the paleontological richness of Ocucaje dating back 10-12 million years,” said Rodolfo Salas, a paleontologist who was part of the discovery team. “Now we can say that the most important primitive sea mammal deposit in South America is at Ocucaje.”

    Fossil whales with residual leg bones have been found in the Egyptian dessert.

    There is a good diagram and associated article here.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/08/egyptian-whale/whale-animation

    • In reply to #4 by prettygoodformonkeys:

      Whale fossils in the DESERT? Obviously planted by Satan…
      No. They were planted by a loving, kind, cuddly god, to test our faith. If we use them to con ourselves into believing in Darwinism, and giving him up, then our nice god will turn decidedly nasty, give us what we deserve, and send us into eternal flames, with divils poking tridents up our arses.

  3. From the caption: “…Rodhocetus, a horrifying ancient creature…”

    “Horrifying”? Like all other living things, it was a creature that evolved to fill a niche. Sure, it had an impressive dentition and probably was a carnivore. As were many others.

    Ask a modern whale what it thinks of humans and their activities in and around the oceans; the word “horrifying” might pop up.

    Steve

    • In reply to #5 by Agrajag:

      From the caption: “…Rodhocetus, a horrifying ancient creature…”

      “Horrifying”? Like all other living things, it was a creature that evolved to fill a niche. Sure, it had an impressive dentition and probably was a carnivore. As were many others.

      All whales are carnivores, past and present. Just because baleen whales eat large numbers of small animals instead of small numbers of large animals, as do dolphins, does not stop them being carnivores.

      • In reply to #8 by Sheepdog:

        All whales are carnivores, past and present. Just because baleen whales eat large numbers of small animals instead of small numbers of large animals, as do dolphins, does not stop them being carnivores.

        Of course. I actually meant “other animals“, not just whales, but you make it clearer.

        Steve

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