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Ancient, four-legged whale with delayed features found along the coast of Peru



Quito-like, a group that includes whales and dolphins, arose in South Asia more than 50 million years ago from a small, four-legged, ungulled ancestor. Now researchers who report the discovery of ancient four-legged whales found in 42.6-million-nautical sediments along the Peruvian coast have a new understanding of the evolution of whales and their scattering in other parts of the world. Published in the journal April 4 current biology [19599004]

Anatomy of the ancient whale

The presence of small hooves on the fingertips of the fingers and toes of the whale and thighs and extremities From the morphology all suggest that this whale can walk on land, researchers say. On the other hand, they talk about the anatomical features of the tail and the legs, including long, likely membranes, similar to the otters, indicating that it was also a good swimmer.

According to Oliv, is Lambert of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

"This is the first indisputable recording of the whale quadrilateral for the entire Pacific Ocean probably the oldest to America, and the most complete exterior India and Pakistan

This picture shows the bones of Peregocetus, ancient whales, including the lower jaw with the teeth, shoulder blade, vertebrae, elements of the sternum, pelvis, anterior limbs and posterior limb (G. Bianucci / Cellular Press / Fair Use ])

The site where the ancient whale was discovered

Several years ago, co-author of the study of Mario Urbina from the Museo de Historia Natural UNMMS, Peru, has opened a promising area for digging up the scum in the coastal desert of southern Peru, called Playa Media Luna. In 2011, the international team, including members from Peru, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, organized a field expedition, during which they excavated the remains of the ancient whale, which at that time called Peregocetus pacificus. This means "the whale that traveled to the Pacific Ocean".

"While digging around the bones that go outside, we quickly realized that this is a skeleton of a quadrangular whale, with both anterior limbs and hind limbs," says Lambert.

  Preserved parts of the skeleton Peregocetus pacificus, an ancient whale. (G. Bianucci / Cellular press / Fair use)

Saved parts of the skeleton Peregocetus pacificus, an ancient whale. (G. Bianucci / Cell Press / Satisfactory Use )

Using the microfossils of the layers of the deposits where the skeleton was located, they were precisely dated to the average Eocene, 42.6 million years ago. Anatomical details of the skeleton allowed them to conclude that the animal is able to maneuver its large body (up to 4 meters in length, the tail is included), both on land and in water. For example, the features of caudal vertebrae (in the tail) resemble the features of beavers and otters, which indicates the significant contribution of the tail during the voyage.

Where did the ancient whales come from?

The geological age of the new quadrilateral whale and its presence along the western coast of South America strongly affirm the hypothesis that early cetaceans reached the New World through the South Atlantic, from the west coast of Africa to South America. Report by researchers. Keith was helped in their travels by surface currents to the west and by the fact that at that time the distance between the two continents was two times smaller than today. Researchers assume that only after reaching South America, landing whales migrated to the north, and finally to North America.

  Distribution of protocotic swine during the middle Eocene, the period of ancient whales. (G. Bianucci / Cellular press / Fair use)

Distribution of protozoan whales during the Middle Eocene, the period of ancient whales. (G. Bianucci / Cell Press / Fair Use )

The international team continues to study the remains of other whales and dolphins from Peru. "We will continue to look in places with layers, like the ancient, and even more ancient, than Playa Media Luna, so older cetacean amphibians can be discovered in the future," says Lambert.

Top image: What would look like Perogotset, an old whale. Source: © Alberto Gennari 2018 / Cell Press (Fair Use)

Article "An ancient four-legged whale with intestines found along the Peruvian coast" was originally published in Science Daily.

Source: Cell Press. An ancient four-legged whale with intestinal features found along the Peruvian coast . ScienceDaily ScienceDaily April 4, 2019

References

Lambert O., Bianuchi G., Salas-Gismond, R., Dilma S., Sterbuth, E., Urbina, M., de Muizon, C. 2019 " Amphibian cat of the Middle Eocene of Peru reveals early South Pacific dispersion of quadrupole cetaceans . Modern biology. [Online] Available at: https://www.cell.com /current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30220-9?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982219302209% 3Fall% 3Dtrue


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