Fossil helps fill ancient whale knowledge gap
A new study in Australia by the Monash School of Biological Sciences of a whale fossil found in Peru has provided fresh information on the origins of baleen whales, helping to connect whales living today with their evolutionary past.
The new whale (Tiucetus rosae) bridges the gap between a family known as cetotheriids – today represented by the living pygmy right whale and a group of ancient whales living 10 to 25 million years ago about which little is known.
Study author, Dr Felix Marx said; “We know from DNA and morphological studies how the living baleen whale families relate to each other, but the looks and whereabouts of their earliest ancestors remain largely in the dark. Our new whale is starting to change that, by filling in the blanks.”