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Maiacetus inuus
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lil_shepherd
Today's science sensation is the publication of data on a new species of early whale. At one time the evolution of whales was one of the things the creationist latched onto. Nowadays there are many transition species recorded, but this one is really interesting, as it still seems to have been coming onto land to breed. (Though this is speculative.)

This is the actual paper...

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004366

There's a good summary at Greg Laden's Blog

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/02/amazing_fossil_finding_proto_w.php

and another, perhaps a little more sceptical at

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/02/03/the-backward-whale/

and

http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/2009/02/maiacetus_the_good_mother_whal.php


and even a photograph of one of the skeletons on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/2951015686/

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There was a small article on this in our paper about this; it's mind-bogglingly strange, isn't it?

It's that one of the fossil whales was was female, pregnant and almost on term that was the real kicker. Not to mention that they had a male skeleton to compare it with.

Woot! What a super find :-)

Well with those legs and toes/fingers you could certainly hope to find the... (wait for it...)

Prints of Wales

Just had to get that out of my system

As Ina says, "It hasn't got the ears!"

ooohhhhhhhhh. *groans*
;)

So when do you think it will turn up on Primeval? *g*

Fourth season!

But it's more likely to be Titanoboa cerrejonensis - a snake longer than a bus, that, if it moved past you, would come up to your waist...

Edited at 2009-02-05 06:01 am (UTC)

It is maddening to realize we're still having to debate this at all.

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