Bio Abstract Whales - Josh Eusebio Bio Abstract Whales were...

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Josh Eusebio Bio Abstract Whales were not always commonly found in the sea, in fact whales are considered mammals. Air breathing, warm blooded, mammals that nurse their young with milk are thought to have ancestors that lived on land. Whales have been evolving in water for such a long time that finding anything informative about their ancestors is a daunting task. Over the past two decades paleontologist have found an abundance of whale fossils spawning the Eocene epoch, 55 million to 34 million years ago when archaic whales (archaeocetes) made the transition from land to sea. Paleontologist Leigh Van Valen discovered striking resemblances between the three-cusped teeth of the few known fossil whales and those of a group of meat-eating condylarths called
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Unformatted text preview: mesony-chids . In the Himalayan foothills of Northern Pakistan Gingrich discovered a partial braincase of a wolf-sized creature (later named Pakicetus) that bore familiar characteristics of cetaceans. Although it lacked the autonomy to hear directionally in water it clearly had cetacean ear traits. Located in Egypt were the first findings of tiny vestigial hind legs belonging to basilosaurus , a 60 foot long sea snake of a whale; first evidence of cetacean feet. More findings such as a 48 million year old skeleton with large feet and a powerful tail leaned towards strong swimming skills but sturdy leg bones and mobile shoulder and elbow joints suggests an ability to move on land, perfect intermediacy between whales and terrestrial ancestors....
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  • Fall '13
  • SaraChoung
  • Chemistry, whales, Leigh Van Valen, Josh Eusebio, Paleontologist Leigh Van, fact whales

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