The Deer That Grew Into a Whale
The gigantic ocean-dwelling whale may have evolved from a land animal the size of a small raccoon, new research suggests. What might be the missing evolutionary link between whales and land animals is an odd animal that looks like a long-tailed deer without antlers or an overgrown long-legged rat, fossils indicate.
The creature is called Indohyus, and recently unearthed fossils reveal some crucial evolutionary similarities between it and water-dwelling cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises.
"As a zoo animal, it looks nothing like a whale," Thewissen, an anatomy professor at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, said. But, he added, when it comes to anatomical features, the Indohyus "is quite strikingly like one."
Tags: Whale | Deer | Evolution | Fossil