Eocene evolution of whale hearing.

Title

Eocene evolution of whale hearing.

Creator

Nummela Sirpa; Thewissen J G M; Bajpai Sunil; Hussain S Taseer; Kumar Kishor

Publisher

Nature

Date

2004
2004-08

Description

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 outer and middle ear in early whales. Sound transmission mechanisms change early on in whale evolution and pass through a stage (in pakicetids) in which hearing in both air and water is unsophisticated. This intermediate stage is soon abandoned and is replaced (in remingtonocetids and protocetids) by a sound transmission mechanism similar to that in modern toothed whales. The mechanism of these fossil whales lacks sophistication, and still retains some of the key elements that land mammals use to hear airborne sound.

Subject

*Biological Evolution; *Fossils; Air; Animals; Ear/*anatomy & histology/*physiology; EVOLUTION (Biology); FOSSILS; HEARING; Hearing/*physiology; MAMMALS; Mammals/anatomy & histology/physiology; Phylogeny; SOUND; Water; WHALES; Whales/*anatomy & histology/*physiology

Identifier

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

776–778

Issue

7001

Volume

430

Citation

Nummela Sirpa; Thewissen J G M; Bajpai Sunil; Hussain S Taseer; Kumar Kishor, “Eocene evolution of whale hearing.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed October 18, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/3988.

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