A Life Spent Chasing Down How Whales Evolved
by Bob Holmes
The intriguing story of how whale evolution was unpicked is told in The Walking Whales, revealing what it’s like to be a globe-trotting palaeontologist
WHALES evolved from cat-sized terrestrial hoofed mammals, evolutionary biologists tell us. How could a tiny, deer-like creature morph into such a radically different leviathan? The notion has often provoked gleeful ridicule from creationists, especially because, until the 1990s, so few intermediate fossils had been discovered.
Little more than a decade later, spectacular finds had bridged that gap so convincingly that whales now stand as one of the best-documented fossil transitions – literally a textbook case of evolution in action.
Much of that change is thanks to Hans Thewissen, a palaeontologist at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, who has made many of the key discoveries. The Walking Whales is his account of his research…
(read more: New Scientist)
image of Pakicetus, via: NHM/SPL