April 21, 2019

Ancient four-legged whale from Peru walked on land, swam in sea

06 April 2019, 10:27 | Edward Lowe

Enlarge Image This illustration shows the swimming and walking positions of Peregocetus pacificus. Lambert et al./Current Biology

Enlarge Image This illustration shows the swimming and walking positions of Peregocetus pacificus.                  Lambert et al./Current Biology

Paleontologists have found a well-preserved fossil of a four-legged amphibian ancestor of whales, a discovery that sheds new light on the mammals' transition from land to the ocean.

In 2011, the fossilized remains of one of these four-legged amphibious creatures was found in 42.6-million-year-old marine sediments at Peru's Playa Media Luna.

"The new find from Peru is the geologically oldest quadrupedal whale from the Americas, so it gives a minimum age [for] when they reached the New World", said Olivier Lambert, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, who led the new research.

"Some vertebrae of the tail region share strong similarities with semi-aquatic mammals like otters, indicating the tail was predominantly used for underwater locomotion", Lambert added.

The specimen proves that early whales could swim for days or possibly weeks at a time while retaining the ability to walk on land. The fossil offers new insights into how these awesome creatures adapted to life in the water and expanded from the Indian subcontinent to the rest of the world. Its hoofed feet and the shape of its legs suggest it would have been capable of bearing the weight of its bulky four metre long body and walking on land.

Zelda and Mario confirmed for Nintendo Switch VR
Breath of the Wild , you are able to play the full game using the VR Goggles, however, it is not in a first-person perspective. My personal favorite Switch game, Super Mario Odyssey , gets a handful of brand-new mini-games set in existing zones.

The sediment layers dated the whale to the middle Eocene, 42.6 million years ago. The creature has been named Peregocetus pacificus, which means "the traveling whale that reached the Pacific". Its hind legs were only a bit shorter than its front legs and it had tiny hooves on each toe and finger, suggesting it was very much capable of trotting about on land. Writing in the journal Current Biology, an global team of researchers reveal that the fossil represents "the first record of an amphibious whale for the whole Pacific Ocean".

Ultimately, Peregocetus would join other Cetacean species to split and become the whales or dolphins humans recognize today.

The whale fed at sea and probably only came on land for specific activities that could have included breeding or giving birth, Lambert said.

"The whales would have been assisted in their travel by westward surface currents and by the fact that, at the time, the distance between the two continents was half what it is today", they say.

"A skull would be great, as well as the tip of the tail", Lambert said.

Mick Jagger’s Heart Surgery Postpones Rolling Stones Tour
The US leg of the Rolling Stones' No Filter tour was set to begin in Miami in just a few weeks, but has since been postponed. Oz said the other valve which also frequently requires surgery is the mitral value, which is further into the heart.

"Because this is the first record of a quadrupedal whale for the whole Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere, this find significantly increases the distribution of these early cetaceans", Lambert said. But its long appendages and large tail bones were similar to those of an otter, suggesting it must have been a proficient swimmer, too. They went from India to North Africa, and then to South America.

"The leg and foot anatomy is similar to that seen in older whales from Pakistan, so this discovery raises important questions about the routes early whales took to disperse around the globe as well as how effective they were moving through the water", Geisler said.

'The evolution of whales is perhaps the best-documented example of macroevolution that we have, with the group going from small, dog-sized, hoofed mammals to the giants of the ocean we know and love today, ' Travis Park, a postdoctoral fellow studying cetacean evolution, told the Natural History Museum.

"It has really intriguing implications for our understanding of the evolution of whales".

Judge orders psychiatric test for Christchurch mosque shooting suspect
While upset after the court appearance, Mr Alam said he was no longer afraid. The accused gunman faces 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges.

Other News

Trending Now

Britney Spears Checks Herself Into Mental Health Facility
Last month it was announced that there is a jukebox musical soundtracked by Britney Spears heading to Broadway . They stay with Kevin some of the time and they also stay at Britney's home with a caregiver some of the time .

Speaker casts vote after tie on indicative votes
He said: "April 12th is the ultimate deadline for the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons". Initial talks between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were described as constructive but inconclusive.

States Move To Block Trump's Border Wall Funding: Attorney General
On Thursday, Trump indicated there would be a one-year deadline for Mexico to improve the situation before tariffs kicked in. As a result, ICE was releasing families faster, in greater numbers and at points farther removed from the border.

Burger King tests out 'Impossible Whopper'
Now Burger King is wading into the booming meat-free market - with a plant-based Whopper that some say tastes like the real thing. The burger of Beyond Meat, one major competitor of Impossible Foods , is also more expensive than most beef alternatives.

New Zealand PM Ardern in another surprising act
Ms Ardern confirmed the story during a media appearance on Thursday morning, when a reporter asked her if the account was true. According to the Herald, the prime minister's salary is about CAD$425,000.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Subscription Will Merge Services For $14.99/month
Xbox Insiders who join this new subscription program can enjoy special pricing of $1 per month until general release. A yearly subscription , which Microsoft says is its best-value option, will cost £50.

Measles count in USA this year already more than all of 2018
Officials say 34 cases of measles have been confirmed in MI - the most since 65 were reported in 1991. Meanwhile, the CDC defines an " outbreak " as three or more cases in an area.

Steven Gerrard doesn't believe Ryan Kent punched Scott Brown in the face
This week Gerrard accused Celtic of "playing the victim card" and said Scott Brown had been provoking his players. But Lennon has claimed the former Liverpool captain has only come out with one sensible comment since Sunday.

Japan space probe drops explosive on asteroid to make crater
NASA's Deep Impact project succeeded in creating an artificial crater on a comet in 2005, but only for observation purposes. Hayabusa2 will move away from the area to avoid being damaged by debris from the explosion or the collision with Ryugu.

Indonesia mulls closing Komodo Island to protect dragons
However, Komodo National Park's other two islands, one of which also has the giant lizards, are expected to stay open next year. Komodo dragons are a species of lizard that are native to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang.