Evolution: Whales, dolphins and hoofed mammals?

By Rebecca Priestley In Science

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1st September, 2012
‘In palaeontology, we’re always dealing with extinction,” says Ewan Fordyce, professor of geology at the University of Otago. The species he studies – shark-toothed dolphins, giant penguins, ancient baleen whales – are all extinct, but there are clues to their evolution and extinction in the Waitaki marine sediments Fordyce has been studying for the past 30 years. “In the past couple of decades we have got some eye-opening evidence about the evolution of whales and dolphins,” says Fordyce. Genetic analysis has revealed they are very closely related to hoofed mammals – “perhaps ...

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