What Is the Ancestor of Whales?

Whale is the collective name of aquatic mammals under the order of cetaceans, commonly known as cetaceans, etc. Most of them live in the ocean, and only a few species live in freshwater. People are used to calling the big ones whales and the small one’s dolphins. The common ones are killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, etc. Let’s take a look at the ancestors of whales!

1. What is the ancestor of whales?
The ancestor of the whale was Pakicetus. In the early 21st century, scientists discovered fossils of two mammals that lived about 50 million years ago in Pakistan. These two animals lived on land, had carnivorous animal teeth, and looked like dogs, but they were not canids. , there are several strange bones in the ear, which are very similar in shape to the unique bones of the same part of the whale. This animal called “Pakicetus” is considered to be the ancestor of the whale.


Pakicetus skeleton (2)
AS-055 Pakicetus Skeleton

2. What was the earliest whale?
The earliest whale was Himalayacetus, which is an extinct carnivorous Ambulocetus (Ambulocetus is an early whale, a semi-aquatic mammal that can walk and swim at the same time), living in Tethys 53.5 million years ago Ocean coast when the Indian plate had not yet collided with the Cimmerian continent, it was named after the fossils of this animal were found in the Himalayas.


Ambulocetus skeleton 2

AS-017 Ambulocetus Skeleton>>

3. How did whales evolve?
The ancestors of whales are Pakicetus, and Pakicetus evolved over a short period of seven million years into Ambulocetus, which survived the “fifth extinction” and evolved into Kutchicetus, Kutchicetus evolved into Dorudon 41 million years ago, while Basilosaurus from the same period became extinct, and Dorudon evolved into Cetacea.


Dorudon skeleton
AS-013 Dorudon Skeleton

4. How many species of whales are there?
1. Baleen whales: Baleen whales are a suborder of the suborder Cetaceae. There are 4 existing species in total, including Right Whales, Neobaleen Whales, Baleen Whales, and Gray Whales. There are about 15 species in total, the most representative ones include blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, gray whales, and bowhead whales.


basilosaurus skeleton 1

AS-101 Basilosaurus Skeelton

2. Odontocetidae: Odontocetidae is a suborder of Cetacea. There are 9 existing species in total, including Sperm Whales, Dolphins, Narwhales, and Beaked Whales. There are about 75 species in total. Representative ones include dolphins, killer whales, narwhals, sperm whales, and pilot whales.
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