Yet another transitional fossil

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Evolution, News, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

journalpone0004366g001Creationists, especially the bizarre YEC variety, often like to claim that no transitional fossils have ever been found.  This, of course, is completely false (with a incredibly small number including Haasiophis terrasanctus, Pachyrhachis, Mososaurs, Pezosiren portelli, Runcaria and Halkiera) and more are being found all the time.  That’s right, another transitional fossils has been found, analysed and seemingly verfied.  And it’s a whale of a find (insert groan from audience here).

Remains of a species called Maiacetus inuus were located in Pakistan, what is remarkable about the find was the specimen had a fossilised fetus inside of it; it was pregnant when it died.  This brought with it a whole lot of information, such as the manner in which the creature gave birth – in this case head first.  For those not putting the pieces together yet, giving birth head first for a mammal is usually fine.  But not if the mammal in question is underwater at the time.  Therefore it seems rather likely this species lived in the water but gave birth on land, which is somewhat odd when you consider that it is a species of Whale.  It is pretty hard to get a clearer example of a transitional species than that.

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Comments
  1. mcoville says:

    was it giving birth to another kind of creature?

  2. ozatheist says:

    OK pardon my ignorance, and limited biology studies, but why can’t a mammal give birth head first underwater? Are there no mammals that do this?

  3. Matt says:

    mcoville: No, it was not. Not sure how you came to that conclusion and that is certainly not the way evolution works.

    ozatheist: Birth tends to take time, very rare is it a case with mammals that the young just slides out with ease. That birth time would mean young being born head first would most likely drown before the rest could emerge.

    • beakerlady says:

      1st: a mammal baby would most likely not drown. Women have water births all the time now – human babies do not drown and come out head first.
      2nd: the fetus being turned around could have been the cause of death.

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