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15 July 2005 @ 12:20 pm
Wait, wait, wait  
Whales were land-based first?!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/05/in_pictures_new_world_heritage_sites/html/1.stm

Excerpt:

"The desert floor of Wadi al-Hitan, or Whale Valley, south of Cairo is littered with fossils of the last whales known to have legs.

"The remains reveal the transition of whales from land-based to the ocean-going mammals we know today."
 
 
Current Mood: astonished
 
 
 
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Does that mean they evolved out of the ocean and then right back into it?
Khirilkhiril on July 15th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
Pretty much.

I believe that's the case for all of the marine mammals.

At some point they just thought, "Hmmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea..."
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
My brain feels tiny.
Khirilkhiril on July 15th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
That just means it fits the rest of you. ;)
Stray Catocicat on July 15th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Yes it does. Honestly, I'm always astonished at how many people don't know this. Mostly, in point of fact, people from places like Kansas or Oklahoma.

Whales are mammals. All mammals have a common evolutionary start. We started out as little vole like things. The critters that went on to become whales whent on to become something like seals, or more accuratly, big otters. From there they decided the land wasn't so great at all, and there wasn't any need to go back at all.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
like Kansas or Oklahoma.

Sigh. I love being from the state that tried so hard to ban evolution while I was in school. Our science teachers did teach evolution, but apparently they skipped this fascinating fact or their books were just that out of date.

*bangs head on monitor*

My KS public education taught me that everything land-based came from the water. It didn't mention that some of the land-based creatures went back in.

There needs to be another Lies My Teacher Told Me book where, instead of focusing on history, it focuses on science.
Stray Cat: dorkocicat on July 15th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Actually, a lot of grade school science classes mearly infer this point. They talk about the evolutionary origins of mammals, and mention that whales are mammals.

Evolution is fun! Penguins and ostriches used to fly, snakes used to have legs, etc...
Zen Anarchymetalmensch on July 15th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
To elaborate a bit on what was already said: if you look at whale skeleton, you'll see a few bones that appear to be floating towards the tail. Here's a link. Whales used to have 4 legs too, but now they essentially just have an elongated spinal column like a snake.
Beththepresident on July 15th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
uh yeah, that's why they have a pelvis and stuff:)
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
holy crap. The things I don't know I could just about fit into the universe.
Beththepresident on July 15th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
and five long sets of bones in each flipper etc :D
Sarah: officesarmonster on July 15th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC)
The coolest part about it, is we can see in today's mammals how it happened! Creatures with webbed feet, beavers, to otters, to sea lions, seals, not quite seeing the nose moving higher, you have the same thing with Sea Turtles.
Newts & mud puppies you can see going the other direction.
chronivorechronivore on July 16th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
I've always wanted a riding whale!

Giddee Up Shamuuuu!

(PS Considering your overall more smartness than I have I'm surprised that I new about this before you did.)
Diva Las Vegasthedivas on July 16th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Whales have a pelvis, and in a marine animal that's about as useful as tits on a bull.