WASHINGTON (UPI) More than 50 million years ago, whales walked on land, says a report in t
WASHINGTON (UPI) - More than 50 million years ago, whales
walked on land, says a report in the journal _Science._
Scientists from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of
Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio; Howard University, Washington, D.C.;
and the Geological Survey of Pakistan, Islamabad, reported that
a 52-million-year-old fossil is that of an ancient whale with
both hind and forelimbs.
Calling the newly discovered species Ambulocetus natans, the
scientists said it reflects a species that evolved between the
time of whales' predecessors -- believed to be fast-running land
mammals -- and the giant water inhabitants.
``Unlike modern (whales,) Ambulocetus certainly was able to
walk on land, probably similar to modern sea lions or fur seals,''
said J.G.M. Thewissen and colleagues.
It swam by undulating its spine and propelling itself by its
feet, they believe. The animals were about the size of large sea
lions, about 300 kilograms or 660 pounds.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank