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Latest Evolution of cetaceans Stories

science-082311-006a
2011-08-23 18:53:14

  Scientists affiliated with the University of Michigan found that skewed skulls may have helped early whales find the direction of sounds in water. Asymmetric skulls are a well-known characteristic of the modern whale group known as "odontocetes" or toothed whales. These whales have modified nasal structures that help produce high-frequency sounds for echolocation. The other modern whale group known as "masticates," or baleen whales, has symmetrical skulls and does not...

b5e7220b1e3df8feb1cf99f972785310
2011-08-18 05:20:00

Scientists have identified a critical step in the evolution of filter-feeding whales' enormous mouths. These whales, otherwise known as baleen whales or mysticetes, have feeding adaptations that are unique among mammals, in that they can filter small marine creatures from huge volumes of water.  The whales accomplish this by using their "loose" lower jaw joints, which enable them to produce a vast filter-feeding gape. A new study of this ancient jawbone has overturned a long-held belief...

d9225007bbea1c1897d0c145a3e00a251
2010-12-17 10:25:55

There's a whale of a new display at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History, a leviathan that represents a scientific saga of equally grand proportions. A complete, 50-foot-long skeleton of the extinct whale Basilosaurus isis, which lived 37 million years ago, now is suspended from the ceiling of the museum's second floor gallery and will reign over an updated whale evolution exhibit scheduled to open in April 2011. "It's a spectacular fossil," said Exhibit Museum...

2010-05-28 18:02:36

Whales are remarkably diverse, with 84 living species of dramatically different sizes and more than 400 other species that have gone extinct, including some that lived partly on land. Why are there so many whale species, with so much diversity in body size? To answer that, UCLA evolutionary biologists and a colleague used molecular and computational techniques to look back 35 million years, when the ancestor of all living whales appeared, to analyze the evolutionary tempo of modern whale...

2009-02-09 14:42:31

A U.S.-led study of the fossil of an extinct pregnant whale discovered in Pakistan suggests primitive whales gave birth on land. Researchers said the 47.5-million-year-old fossil reveals how primitive whales gave birth and provides new insights into how whales made the transition from land to sea. The researchers who made the discovery said they were at first perplexed by adult female and fetal bones found together. When we first saw the small teeth, we thought we were dealing with a small...

52fe5287d61d45a958c14eaec22a5aa31
2007-12-19 13:40:00

WASHINGTON -- It sounds like a stretch, but a new study suggests that the missing evolutionary link between whales and land animals is an odd raccoon-sized animal that looks like a long-tailed deer without antlers. Or an overgrown long-legged rat. The creature is called Indohyus, and recently dug up fossils reveal some crucial evolutionary similarities between it and water-dwelling cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises. For years, the hippo has been the leading candidate for the...


Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.