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The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution documented on the Indian subcontinent.
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The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution documented on the Indian subcontinent.

Author: S Bajpai Affiliation: Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247 677, India. sunilfes@iitr.ernet.in; JG Thewissen; A Sahni
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Journal of biosciences, 2009 Nov; 34(5): 673-86
Database:From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Other Databases: ElsevierBritish Library Serials
Summary:
The origin of whales (order Cetacea) from a four-footed land animal is one of the best understood examples of macroevolutionary change. This evolutionary transition has been substantially elucidated by fossil finds from the Indian subcontinent in the past decade and a half. Here, we review the first steps of whale evolution, i.e. the transition from a land mammal to obligate marine predators, documented by the  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: S Bajpai Affiliation: Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247 677, India. sunilfes@iitr.ernet.in; JG Thewissen; A Sahni
ISSN:0250-5991
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 565869881
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Abstract:

The origin of whales (order Cetacea) from a four-footed land animal is one of the best understood examples of macroevolutionary change. This evolutionary transition has been substantially elucidated by fossil finds from the Indian subcontinent in the past decade and a half. Here, we review the first steps of whale evolution, i.e. the transition from a land mammal to obligate marine predators, documented by the Eocene cetacean families of the Indian subcontinent: Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, and Basilosauridae, as well as their artiodactyl sister group, the Raoellidae. We also discuss the influence that the excellent fossil record has on the study of the evolution of organ systems, in particular the locomotor and hearing systems.

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