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HUMPING ARCHAEOCETES (SNIGGER)



> >Not as bad as 'humping' - the manner in which seals, and some of the
> >archaeocete
> >whales also, travel over beaches and sandbars. Oh, another little snippet of
> >a post...
> >
>         Archaeocetes?  where did that information come from?
> 
> 

Archaeocetes, as you probably know, are a paraphyletic assemblage of basal
cetaceans, some were and some probably were not ancestral to later groups. As
such, they (archaeocetes) present several grades in whale evolution, ranging
form the sea-lion like, amphibious _Ambulocetus_ and its relatives on one hand,
to the huge, oceanic basilosaurids on the other. 

Unlike derived extant whales, basal cetaceans do not seem to have been fully
adapted for an oceanic lifestyle. Some of the protocetids, for example, appear
less inclined for a marine existence than modern pinnipeds. It is thus
reasonable to conclude that they still gave birth on land, rested on beaches,
that kind of thing. A number of cetologists, E. Fordyce, Michael Bonner (I
think) and Lyall Watson among them, have advocated 'humping' in these animals.
Fordyce (for those of you who don't know, one of THE 'top minds' in cetacean
evolution) has even suggested that the giant basilosaurids could wriggle across
sandbars like giant seals. I doubt this, they seem as well adapted for a pelagic
lifestyle as more 'advanced' basal odontocetes and mysticetes.

So, does that answer your question Jason?

DARREN NAISH
> 
> 
> Jason J. Head
> V.P. graduate student
> Dept. of Geological Sciences
> Southern Methodist University
> Dallas, Tx. 75275
> 
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