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Whale related question ?

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Whale related question ?

Postby mrjosh » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:01 pm

Hello, i was just wondering if someone could let me know the evolutionary background of whales and how they went from being land dwelling mammals to what they are today ? Is it possible that the reason whales are so large is that they took advantage of the buoyancy water provides, and evolved becoming larger and larger exploiting the environment they were occupying ? Cheers - Josh
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Postby Darby » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:18 pm

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Postby biohazard » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:53 am

They certainly did take the advantage of buoyancy in water: the largest of whales are so heavy that they would essentially crush under their own weight on dry land - but that's not a problem in water :)
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Re: Whale related question ?

Postby robsabba » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm

mrjosh wrote:Hello, i was just wondering if someone could let me know the evolutionary background of whales and how they went from being land dwelling mammals to what they are today ? Is it possible that the reason whales are so large is that they took advantage of the buoyancy water provides, and evolved becoming larger and larger exploiting the environment they were occupying ? Cheers - Josh

Whales are most closely related to hippos. They are thus relatives of the even-tooled ungulates, and most likely evolved from them. The fossil record shows that early whales had rear legs, and special traits found today only in even-tooled ungulates. They were in the beginning only semi-aquatic, then fully aquatic, and then evolved to live in the deep oceans. Early whales all have teeth, not baleen. Baleen was a fairly recent adaption.
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