Fossil “Early Whale” Mother

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Fossil “early whale” mother found, according to ScienceDaily 4 Feb 2009. A team of palaeontologists led by Philip Gingerich have found the fossil of “female whale with a fetus” in Pakistan. They also found a fossil male of the same species. The new fossil has been named Maiacetus inuus and is dated as 47.5 million years old. “Maiacetus” means mother whale and “inuus” refers to a Roman fertility god. The unborn baby ‘whale’ is orientated in the head down position, as occurs in land animals. Whales give birth tail first. Maiacetus is described as having “four legs modified for foot-powered swimming, and although these whales could support their weight on their flipper-like limbs, they probably couldn't travel far on land.” According to Gingerich and ScienceDaily, its “big teeth, well-suited for catching and eating fish, suggest the animals made their livings in the sea, probably coming onto land only to rest, mate and give birth.” Gingerich commented: "They clearly were tied to the shore. They were living at the land-sea interface and going back and forth."

ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Apart from the stupidity of calling the whole species “mother whale” when half of them were fathers, there is no excuse for calling this fossil a whale, early or late. If a creature with four legs suited for foot powered swimming, but also able to support its weight and give birth on land was found today, it would not be called a whale. The only reason for calling it an “early whale” is Gingerich’s apriori belief that land dwelling creatures evolved into whales. There is nothing strange about an animal that lived partly in the sea and rested and reproduced on land. There are plenty of them alive today, e.g. seals, sea lions, walruses, and no-one considers them to be “early whales”. (Ref. presuppositions, cetaceans, amphibious)

Evidence News 8 July 2009

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