Period 2 Whale Evolution

Philip D. Gingerich is a paleontologist who is recognized for his knowledge on the ancestry of whales. When Gingerich worked with Pakistani colleagues he found a 50 million year old fossil that had a "dog-like" skull. This was a terrestrial mammal called a Pakicetus.This link has an enlarged picture of the Pakitcetus skull:

Gingerich is a paleontologist who found fossils during a dig in Egypt. One of his students named Hans Thewissen later discovered legs with webbed feet and a long nose. Thewissen called it Ambulocetus natans which means "walking-and-swimming whale." During another dig in Pakastan one of his colleagues found an anklebone belonging to a new species of whale dating back 47 million years.
A 40 million year old sea animal lived in water but still had weak hind legs.

Gingerich, in a new pakistan site, was exposed to a new fossil that changed his view of paleontology. It was a new species of whale, an astragalus that had been previously attached to a pully-shaped ankle bone. It proved that ideas "come and go", but the fittest survive. This link is to an article that described the evolution of whales and where the astragalus might have been derived from:

While Gingerich was doing his testing Molecular biologist had explored the same question and arrived at a different answer which said with DNA hybridization and other tests had suggested that whales had come from Artiodactyls, which is an even toed herbivore. not from meat eating animals. this is from the National Geographic article given in class.

test on the whales have confirmed that the creatures had evolved from early ancestors of sheep, deer and hippopotami, and it suggested that hippos may be the closest living relatives of whales. ScienceDaily 20 September 2001. 13 May 2008 __<>.__

Gingerich had said that whales had evolved from tiny deer like creatures who had moved into the ocean to escape predators.

The evolution of whales has always been a mystery. It's confusing to think that such a large,air breathing, warm blooded creature could reproduce and have young that live only in the water when mammals evolved on land. Because we have discovered fossils with evidence that show how the animal has progressed, we have been able to come to the conclusion of how they have evolved from living on land to living in the water. We have also been able to come to this conclusion because of the way whales move. __

Evolutionists are confident that whales evolved from being on land to being in the water just because mesonychids and archaeocetes have some similarities. These similarities aren't enough to make the case for ancestry, especially in light of the vast differences. So basically, there is no way to tell FOR SURE that whales have evolved in this way. This is not saying that the ideas are wrong, but aren't proven to be facts. __

Sinonyx is linked to whale because it had a elongated muzzle, an enlarged jugular foramen, and a short basicranium. The tooth count was the primitive mammalian number (44); the teeth were differentiated as are the heterodont teeth of today's mammals. The molars were very narrow shearing teeth, especially in the lower jaw, but possessed multiple cusps. The elongation of the muzzle is often associated with hunting fish - all fish-hunting whales, as well as dolphins, have elongated muzzles. These features were atypical of mesonychids, indicating that Sinonyx was already developing the adaptations that later became the basis of the whales' specialized way of life. __

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