Eocene evolution of whale hearing

  title={Eocene evolution of whale hearing},
  author={Sirpa Nummela and J. G. M. Thewissen and Sunil Bajpai and S. Taseer Hussain and Kishor Kumar},
The origin of whales (order Cetacea) is one of the best-documented examples of macroevolutionary change in vertebrates. As the earliest whales became obligately marine, all of their organ systems adapted to the new environment. The fossil record indicates that this evolutionary transition took less than 15 million years, and that different organ systems followed different evolutionary trajectories. Here we document the evolutionary changes that took place in the sound transmission mechanism of… 

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

The first steps of whale evolution are reviewed, i.e. the transition from a land mammal to obligate marine predators, documented by the Eocene cetacean families of the Indian subcontinent: Pakicetaceae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocet Families, Protocet families, and Basilosauridae, as well as their artiodactyl sister group, the Raoellidae.

Early evolution of the ossicular chain in Cetacea: into the middle ear gears of a semi-aquatic protocetid whale

This integrative anatomical and functional study brings strong evidence that protocetids were adapted to their dual acoustic environment with efficient hearing in both air and water.

From Land to Water: the Origin of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises

This work focuses on the evolution of cetacean organ systems, as these document the transition from land to water in detail.

The Ecological Rise of Whales Chronicled by the Fossil Record

  • N. Pyenson
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Current Biology
  • 2017

Infrasonic and Ultrasonic Hearing Evolved after the Emergence of Modern Whales

Things that go bump in the night: evolutionary interactions between cephalopods and cetaceans in the tertiary

It is suggested that echolocation in early odontocetes aided nocturnal feeding on cephalopods and other prey items, and that this early system was exapted for deep diving and hunting at depths below the photic zone where abundant cEPhalopod resources were available 24 h a day.

Positive selection and inactivation in the vision and hearing genes of cetaceans.

The diversification of cetaceans has been accompanied by pervasive molecular adaptations in both sets of genes, including several loci implicated in non-syndromic hearing loss (NSHL), and alongside these adaptive changes, increased evidence of pseudogenization of genes involved in cone-mediated vision in mysticetes and deep diving odontocetes.

Sensory Evolution on the Threshold: Adaptations in Secondarily Aquatic Vertebrates

A one-stop source for information on the sense organs of secondarily aquatic tetrapods, "Sensory Evolution on the Threshold" sheds new light on both the evolution of aquatic vertebrates and the sensory biology of their astonishing transition.



Origin of underwater hearing in whales

The incus and mandible of Pakicetus indicate that the path of soundwaves to its ear resembled that of land mammals, and corroborate the hypothesis that artiodactyls are the closest extant relatives of cetaceans.

The Early Radiations of Cetacea (Mammalia): Evolutionary Pattern and Developmental Correlations

The origin and early evolution of Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is one of the best examples of macroevolution as documented by fossils, and a study of patterns of correlations among morphological traits to test hypotheses of developmental links among organ systems is suggested.

Terrestrial Mesonychia to Aquatic Cetacea: Transformation of the Basicranium and Evolution of Hearing in Whales

Morphological and stratigraphic evidence indicates that land-living mesonychian ungulates are broadly ancestral to early amphibious and later aquatic cetaceans. The transition from terrestrial

Origin of Whales in Epicontinental Remnant Seas: New Evidence from the Early Eocene of Pakistan

Discovery of Pakicetus strengthens earlier inferences that whales originated from terrestrial carnivorous mammals and suggests that whales made a gradual transition from land to sea in the early Eocene, spending progressively more time feeding on planktivorous fishes in shallow seas and embayments associated with tectonic closure of eastern Tethys.

The Marine Mammal Ear: Specializations for Aquatic Audition and Echolocation

“Marine mammal” is a broad categorization for over 150 species that have one feature in common: the ability to function effectively in an aquatic environment. They have no single common aquatic

Land-to-sea transition in early whales: evolution of Eocene Archaeoceti (Cetacea) in relation to skeletal proportions and locomotion of living semiaquatic mammals

It appears that the land-to-sea transition in whale evolution involved at least two distinct phases of locomotor specialization: hindlimb domination for drag-based pelvic paddling in protocetids (Rodhocetus), with tail elongation for stability, followed by lumbus domination for lift-based caudal undulation and oscillation in basilosaurids (Dorudon).

Vestibular evidence for the evolution of aquatic behaviour in early cetaceans

It is hypothesized that the unparalleled modification of the semicircular canal system represented a key ‘point of no return’ event in early cetacean evolution, leading to full independence from life on land.

Hearing in extinct cetaceans as determined by cochlear structure

The bony cochlea is described in representative Odontoceti, Mysticeti and Archaeoceti, with special emphasis on adaptations to high-frequency echolocation. The latter include (a) a small distance

Evolutionary Morphology and Acoustics in the Dolphin Skull

It is the acoustic system, which is clearly dominant and optimized by a highly efficient ultrasound transmitter for echolocation, which may be connected functionally with the unusually well-developed terminalis system.

Homology and Transformation of Cetacean Ectotympanic Structures

The ectotympanic bullae of whales and land mammals have many differences that resulted from the morphological divergence of whales from their ungulate ancestors, and ontogenetic alteration of the ancestral precursor condition of the terrestrial ungulates.