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Thread: Artist's Impression of Ambulocetus Natans

  1. #1 Artist's Impression of Ambulocetus Natans 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    K here is an artist's impression:



    I thought cetaceans were supposed to have evolved from hippo like organisms, this thing looks like it evolved from a rat, isn't the stuff added to the skeleton (nose, hair, etc.) pretty unlikely.

    The long link was messing up the page formatting, so I replaced it with the pic.
    Paralith


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    No, cetaceans and hippos share a common ancestor.



    Ambulocetans is well "on the way" towards whale-ness. Probably both whales and hippos evolved from something that looked kind of rat/dog-ish.



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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    That jump from Dalanistes to Rodhocetus was a pretty big one, judging from just that picture.
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  5. #4 Re: Artist's Impression of Ambulocetus Natans 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    K here is an artist's impression:



    I thought cetaceans were supposed to have evolved from hippo like organisms, this thing looks like it evolved from a rat, isn't the stuff added to the skeleton (nose, hair, etc.) pretty unlikely.

    The long link was messing up the page formatting, so I replaced it with the pic.
    Paralith
    Looks like a rat?

    Why is it missing the most prominent characteristic of a rat then? Continously growing incisors separated by a diastema region (lacking canines and premolars) from the molars.
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  6. #5 Re: Artist's Impression of Ambulocetus Natans 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    K here is an artist's impression:



    I thought cetaceans were supposed to have evolved from hippo like organisms, this thing looks like it evolved from a rat, isn't the stuff added to the skeleton (nose, hair, etc.) pretty unlikely.

    The long link was messing up the page formatting, so I replaced it with the pic.
    Paralith
    Looks like a rat?

    Why is it missing the most prominent characteristic of a rat then? Continously growing incisors separated by a diastema region (lacking canines and premolars) from the molars.
    I was talking about the whiskers and nasty face, stuff the artist added, I wasn't saying they were the same in any detailed sense.

    Also thanks for clearing that up paralith.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Junior newnothing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That jump from Dalanistes to Rodhocetus was a pretty big one, judging from just that picture.
    Maybe we haven't found fossils that fit in between Dalanistes and Rodhocetus.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That jump
    It's the different postures. An otter walking on land does not look especially aquatic, but viewed swimming underwater it's clearly adapted to that element.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That jump
    It's the different postures. An otter walking on land does not look especially aquatic, but viewed swimming underwater it's clearly adapted to that element.
    Is there any definitive proof that Dalanistes and Rodhocetus are genetically related?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That jump
    It's the different postures. An otter walking on land does not look especially aquatic, but viewed swimming underwater it's clearly adapted to that element.
    Is there any definitive proof that Dalanistes and Rodhocetus are genetically related?
    If the only evidence we have of these animals are fossils, then of course not. You can't get DNA from a rock. And even if you did (because I'm sure someone will bring up the protein fragment they found in the T-rex bone if I don't address it), it would be tiny, fragmentary pieces, and probably give you little to zero information about relatedness.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  11. #10  
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    So scientists are uncertain about their relatedness at the moment?
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    So scientists are uncertain about their relatedness at the moment?
    Boy, where's mormoopoid when you need him?

    You can think of a phylogeny, such as the one in the illustration above, as a hypothesis. Like any hypothesis, the more evidence you have the supports it, especially if it comes from different areas, the more likely it is that the hypothesis is true. When making phylogenies based on morphology, especially when you have the whole skeleton and many individuals to work with, you can use a great many markers to test against the phylogeny and see if they all line up the same way. If the vast majority of the markers used yield the same phylogeny, chances are pretty good that the species have the relationship depicted. But like any theory, there's always a chance new evidence may show up at one point or another that will change things.

    Whale fossils in particular are very abundant, so though the phylogeny is only based on morphology, it stands a pretty high chance of being the correct one - and there's also a good chance that this is all the data we'll ever have for the relatedness of these animals, so we have to work with what we got.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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