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K21 Cappuccino - Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Annual Census for Southern Resident Orcas Puts Population at Only 73 Orcas

K21 Cappuccino - Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu The Center for Whale Research has released...

148 more fin whales killed in waters around Iceland

The Icelandic fin whaling season has now ended with a final, grim tally of 148...

Hundreds of whales killed as Norwegian hunt season ends

The end of the whaling season in Norway has been announced with 580 minke whales...

Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

Another fossil gives early clue to evolution of baleen whales

Examination of an ancient fossil has given scientists another insight into the evolution of baleen whales such as humpback or blue whales.

The fossil, named Coronodon havensteini, was found near the Wando River in South Carolina and lived around 30 million years ago. One of the great mysteries of whale evolution is how baleen whales evolve from originally having teeth and at what point did these whales lose their teeth? This whale has a wide snout and short jaw bones that are characteristics of a baleen whale. However, what is intriguing is that it had teeth which appear to have been used in a sieve-like way to catch small prey and filter out the water. But, at the same time, the whale would also have been able to take larger prey using the teeth in a more conventional way.

The latest discovery follows that of possibly the oldest relative of baleen whales found in Peru that lived 36 million years ago which also showed characteristics of having teeth but using suction to catch food.

Full report:
The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales
Jonathan H. Geisler, Robert W. Boessenecker, Mace Brown, Brian L. Beatty
Current Biology