Ancient Baleen Whales

In an astonishing discovery, the researchers at the University of Otago have discovered some ancient fossils which show that they are of baleen whales evolution. Baleen whale is also known as the Earth’s largest animal who all are living in the Antarctic Sea which is about 34 million years ago.

A study which was published in the journal Current Biology on Thursday shows that the researchers have stumbled upon a 34 million-year-old skull which is belonging to the species named as Llanocetusdentocrenatus, who are ancient relatives of baleen whales. After researchers analysis the fossil they got to know that these whales had got well-developed teeth. This presence of teeth suggests that these whales might be a “formidable predator.”

The paleontologist, Dr. Felix Marx of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences said, the early Llanocetusdenticrenatus is the name of the ancestor of the modern blue whales and humpbacks. Dr. R. Ewan Fordyce who is of the University of Otago in New Zealand said that till they discovered this, they thought these whales live on “filter feeding” which came into existence even if the whale possesses teeth. He added by saying this belief for Llanocetisdenticrenatus was not true.

According to Dr. Marx, Llanocetusdenticrenatus possessed huge gums and had developed teeth also in place of the filter. They have developed these large teeth to bite their large prey, as per co-author Dr. Marx said.

Researchers, who have studied this, believe that this was the evolution of the distinct feature, with more complex evolutions which were usually found in the modern baleen whales. These changes in them might have come after they have chosen to start targeting smaller prey in place of larger creatures. A new study suggests that these whales have developed baleen so that they can prevent the small praise from escaping from their mouth when trying to eat them.

As per Dr. Fordyce, the study shows that the reason behind this change in the whales is mainly due to climate condition which plays an important role in the life of whales. He said that this transformation is due to transformation in the tropical temperatures to cooler temperature which plays a major role in the change. When the temperature becomes cold, the transformation in food and nutrition cycle also takes place and it might be the reason behind the evolution of the baleens.

 

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