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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 7:25 EDT

Latest Victoria Gill Stories

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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...