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Early dispersal for quadrupedal cetaceans: Amphibious whale from middle Eocene


Scientists have a relatively precise idea about where whales and their closest terrestrial relatives evolved more than 50 million years ago (early Eocene), thanks to the discovery of ancient cetacean fossils in India and Pakistan. Around 45 million years ago, four-legged whales (protocetids) gradually dispersed out of Asia, westward towards Africa and then reached the east coast of North America more than 41 million years ago. Due to the relatively fragmentary fossil record on both sides of the North Atlantic, questions remain about the path they took to make it to the New World and their locomotion abilities. The newly ...


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