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Transitional Forms of Whales
The Journey from Land to the Deep Sea

For decades creationists have been levying the criticism that the fossil record lacks "transitional forms" with their favorite example being the whale. How could a mammal make the transition from land to sea?

Of course time is on the side of science because discovery continues, while religion stagnates or splinters into different factions. Several intermediate forms of whale evolution have surfaced in the last few years.

For an extensive exposition, please see Transitional Forms of Whales. You will enjoy it.

Seeing is believing...

The Triumph of an Idea

The cladogram depicting whale evolution is from the book Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer. The artist was Deborah Perugi. The book is a companion to the PBS series of the Evolution Project, a coproduction of the WGNH/NOVA Science Unit and Clear Blue Sky Productions. Please visit the extensive website for this production.

As Stephen Gould concludes , "If you had given me a blank piece of paper and a blank check, I could not have drawn you a theoretical intermediate any better or more convincing than Ambulocetus. Those dogmatists who by verbal trickery can make white black, and black white, will never be convinced of anything, but Ambulocetus is the very animal that they proclaimed impossible in theory."
--Natural History magazine, May 1994.

Progressive evolution of unique ear bones found only in whales and their ancestors.

[Image by F. Spoor using Voxel-man ]

The back leg bones are clearly visible, even in modern whales. Pakicetus and its cousins Nature, 2001 Macmillan magazine

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