The early radiations of cetacea (Mammalia): Evolutionary pattern and developmental correlations

Title

The early radiations of cetacea (Mammalia): Evolutionary pattern and developmental correlations

Creator

Thewissen J G M; Williams E M

Publisher

Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics

Date

2002
2002

Description

The origin and early evolution of Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is one of the best examples of macroevolution as documented by fossils. Early whales are divided into six families that differ greatly in their habitats, which varied from land to freshwater, coastal waters, and fully marine. Early cetaceans lived in the Eocene (55-37 million years ago), and they show an enormous morphological diversity. Toward the end of the Eocene the modem cetacean body plan originated, and this body plan remained more or less the same in the subsequent evolution. It is possible that some aspects of this body plan are rooted in constraints that are dictated by cetacean embryologic development and controlled by genes that affect many organ systems at once. It may be possible to use a study of patterns of correlations among morphological traits to test hypotheses of developmental links among organ systems.

Subject

archaeocete; artiodactyls; development; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; evolution; Evolutionary Biology; feet; fossil record; India; locomotor evolution; marine mammal; middle eocene; origin; pakistan; Stenella attenuata; time; whales

Format

Journal Article

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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

73-90

Volume

33

Citation

Thewissen J G M; Williams E M, “The early radiations of cetacea (Mammalia): Evolutionary pattern and developmental correlations,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed April 20, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/7326.

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