Navigation Links
Getting a leg up on whale and dolphin evolution
Date:9/24/2009

When the ancestors of living cetaceanswhales, dolphins and porpoisesfirst dipped their toes into water, a series of evolutionary changes were sparked that ultimately nestled these swimming mammals into the larger hoofed animal group. But what happened first, a change from a plant-based diet to a carnivorous diet, or the loss of their ability to walk? A new paper published this week in PLoS One resolves this debate using a massive data set of the morphology, behavior, and genetics of living and fossil relatives. Cetacean ancestors probably moved into water before changing their diet (and their teeth) to include carnivory; Indohyus, a 48-million year-old semi-aquatic herbivore, and hippos fall closest to cetaceans when the evolutionary relationships of the larger group are reconstructed.

"If you only had living taxa to figure out relationships within this group of animals, you would miss a large amount of diversity and part of the picture of what is going on," says Michelle Spaulding, lead author of the study and a graduate student affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. "Indohyus is interesting because this fossil combines an herbivore's dentition with adaptations such as ear bones that are adapted for hearing under water and are traditionally associated with whales only."

The origin of whales, dolphins, and porpoiseswith their highly modified legs and lack of hairhas long been a quandary for mammalogists. About 60 years ago, researchers first suggested that cetaceans were related to plant-eating ungulates, specifically to even-toed, artiodactyl mammals like sheep, antelope and pigs. In other words, carnivorous killer whales and fish-eating dolphins were argued to fit close to the herbivorous hoofed animal group. More recent genetic research found that among artiodactyls, hippos are the cetaceans' closest living relatives.

Because no one would ever link hippos and whales based on their appear
'/>"/>

Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Getting plants to rid themselves of pesticide residues
2. Getting to the root of science in a nutty way
3. Getting down to cancer basics
4. Getting into hot water
5. Many middle-aged and older Americans not getting adequate nutrition
6. Getting warmer? Prehistoric climate can help forecast future changes
7. Getting to the root of the matter
8. Getting better with a little help from our micro friends
9. Getting wise to the influenza virus tricks
10. The sea ice is getting thinner
11. New species discovered on whale skeletons
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Getting a leg up on whale and dolphin evolution
(Date:8/31/2014)... Nature Climate Change , suggests that if current ... exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ... all think carefully about the food we choose and its ... is just one of a number of actions that need ... there is enough food for all. , As populations ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... have made some surprising discoveries about the body,s ... virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells ... responders to viral invasion and are the source ... interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). , Though aimed at ... the gut epithelium that provides a barrier to ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has gone on record stating ... monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus up to ... is severe. , Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology, ... in Ebola treatment research. The filoviruses known as Ebola virus ... with fatality rates of up to 90 percent. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change 2Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change 3Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change 4The early cost of HIV 2Leading Ebola researcher at UTMB says there's an effective treatment for Ebola 2
... give insight into nitrogen air pollution effects on ... protecting them provides safeguards for less sensitive species. ... international journal Environmental Pollution and are ... chemical and biological effects to terrestrial and aquatic ...
... at Washington University in St. Louis shows that the more diverse ... have of exposure to West Nile Virus (WNV). , Now, let,s ... where there are more bird species in your backyard, you have ... doctoral candidate in biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University ...
... Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is clarifying a previously unappreciated ... Last year, scientists from the same CHSL team ... changes the instructions for how other proteins are assembled--can ... results show that, in ways not yet fully understood, ...
Cached Biology News:Lichens function as indicators of nitrogen pollution in forests 2Study: Bird diversity lessens human exposure to West Nile Virus 2Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists trace a novel way cells are disrupted in cancer 2
(Date:8/28/2014)... City, CA (PRWEB) August 28, 2014 ... sanitation products for the food processing industry, is asking ... a side-by side comparison of the E2 soap they’re ... E2 Sanitizing Foam Soap . Hand hygiene is ... in the food processing environment. Six key criteria are ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... 2014 “This kit has an improved extraction ... 0 to 150 ppb,” said Mark Tess, PhD, Mycotoxin Product ... to plant owners and USDA-GIPSA inspection agencies that have a ... can take place in a matter of minutes with nothing ... test the feed and grain before accepting it, but they ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... important devices in spintronics, an electronic which is ... but also on their spin and the spin-related ... into magnetic signals and vice versa. Recently, the ... Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ... and Japan, has for the first time realised ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... PA (PRWEB) August 28, 2014 The ... create a culture that will allow individuals to perform ... becoming increasingly important for employers looking to compete in ... industries are embracing this trend, as the sector increasingly ... of a company, which will have real results on ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Best Sanitizers, Inc. Asks Food Industry Professionals: With Fall Harvest On the Way, Is Your E2 Hand Soap Up to the Task? 2A new, tunable device for spintronics 2A new, tunable device for spintronics 3Klein Hersh International Leads Philadelphia Area Life Science Industry in Company Culture 2Klein Hersh International Leads Philadelphia Area Life Science Industry in Company Culture 3
... Dec. 23 - Deriving plentiful electricity from sunlight at ... for energy, technology, and climate policy. A paper in ... the Optical Society,s (OSA) open-access journal, describes a relatively ... metal particles. As the authors describe in the article, ...
... Engineers at the University of Idaho have developed unique ... missions that will study the Earth and Sun-Earth connection. ... technical officer Pen-Shu Yeh, a senior engineer at NASA,s ... at the University of Idaho,s (U-Idaho) Center ...
... Engineers at the University of Idaho have developed unique ... missions that will study the Earth and Sun-Earth connection. ... technical officer Pen-Shu Yeh, a senior engineer at NASA,s ... at the University of Idaho,s (U-Idaho) Center ...
Cached Biology Technology:Enhancing solar cells with nanoparticles 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on 2 NASA missions 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on 2 NASA missions 3New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on two NASA missions 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on two NASA missions 3
... single use spatulas have been designed to ... are for those interested in eliminating the ... Each spatula is individually packaged, RNase/DNase free, ... is a new product number, created to ...
... of cells • Blade design minimizes cell ... growth surface • Designed for use in ... • Sterilized by gamma radiation and certified ... new product number, created to easily match ...
... Corning single use spatulas have been ... samples. They are for those interested in ... reusable spatulas. Each spatula is individually packaged, ... CLS number is a new product number, ...
... The MagneGST™ Protein Purification System provides ... for the purification of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) ... (MagneGST™ Particles) are used to isolate ... or cleared lysate using either a ...
Biology Products: