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

  title={From Land to Water: the Origin of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises},
  author={J. G. Thewissen and L. N. Cooper and J. George and S. Bajpai},
  journal={Evolution: Education and Outreach},
  • J. G. Thewissen, L. N. Cooper, +1 author S. Bajpai
  • Published 2009
  • Biology
  • Evolution: Education and Outreach
  • Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are an order of mammals that originated about 50 million years ago in the Eocene epoch. Even though all modern cetaceans are obligate aquatic mammals, early cetaceans were amphibious, and their ancestors were terrestrial artiodactyls, similar to small deer. The transition from land to water is documented by a series of intermediate fossils, many of which are known from India and Pakistan. We review raoellid artiodactyls, as well as the earliest… CONTINUE READING
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