Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Evolution rocks

In 1991, Michael Crichton broke my heart.

It was love at first sight. Thanks to Eveready, I got two free tickets to the premiere show of Jurassic Park. Later, when I managed to get hold of the book, I fell in love with the fast, agile and intelligent velociraptors and it continued till the time I read that velociraptors were not 2 metres tall as the book says, but the size of a dog and that the encephalisation quotient of a velociraptor is about the same as that of an ostrich. I never forgave Michael Crichton for that.

Later, YoungWorld had an article on whales, and it said that the whales were driven to the oceans by dinosaurs. It took me 10 long years to get the science right, and here it is.

Whales came into picture after the dinosaurs went extinct. This was how their ancestors looked like 40 million years back- about the size of a dog.


After a few millions years of semi-aquatic lifestyle, they looked like a cross between a crocodile and a platypus.


The first primitive whales looked like this.


Imagine, little old pakicetus giving rise to the largest animal the earth ever saw.
Seriously, evolution rocks.

More on whale evolution here

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