How did whales lose their hind limbs?

whale

Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine researchers revealed the genetics behind how the ancient four-footed animals evolved into streamlined marine whales. The ancient whales were four-fooled and looked like large modern dog. But they gradually evolved into graceful swimmers.

And this happened through a series of small genetic changes, when the whales underwent embryonic development. Hans Thewissen and his colleagues reported this study in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Earth Sciences funds the research.

Richard Lane, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Earth Sciences said,

Their research has implications for how evolution acts to create dramatic changes in an organism’s body… The findings emphasize the synergistic role traditional paleontology and evolutionary and developmental biology play at the frontiers of the evolutionary sciences.

Via: hypography

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