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

Title

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

Creator

Bajpai S; Thewissen J G M; Sahni A

Publisher

Journal of Biosciences

Date

2009
2009-11

Description

The origin of whales (order Cetacea) from a four-footed land animal is one of the best understood examples of macroevolutionary change. This evolutionary transition has been substantially elucidated by fossil finds from the Indian subcontinent in the past decade and a half. Here, we review the first steps of whale evolution, i.e. the transition from a land mammal to obligate marine predators, documented by the Eocene cetacean families of the Indian subcontinent: Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, and Basilosauridae, as well as their artiodactyl sister group, the Raoellidae. We also discuss the influence that the excellent fossil record has on the study of the evolution of organ systems, in particular the locomotor and hearing systems.

Subject

Cetacea; India; evolution; energetics; Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics; artiodactyls; Eocene; pakistan; whales; cetaceans; Eocene; cetartiodactyla; locomotor evolution; dolphins; middle; semiaquatic mammals; underwater hearing

Format

Journal Article or Conference Abstract Publication

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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

673-686

Issue

5

Volume

34

Citation

Bajpai S; Thewissen J G M; Sahni A, “The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution documented on the Indian Subcontinent,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed July 28, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/8550.

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