Cetacean Evolution (Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises)
Evidence of Common Ancestry of Cetaceans and Certain Species of Land Mammals
by Edward T. Babinski
(Reviews of several creationist articles that deny such evidence exists.)
"Whales have been trouble for scientists since Linnaeus put together the first modern taxonomy in 1735, 'Amidst the greatest apparent confusion, the greatest order is visible,' Linneaus wrote about classification, and yet when he tried to classify whales, he seemed only to add more confusion. Were they fish or mammals? 'These are necessarily arranged with the Mammalia,' he demanded, 'though their habits and manners are like those of fish.' Whales, he pointed out, have hearts like ventricles and auricles like mammals, they are warm-blooded, have lungs, nurse their young -- just like mammals on land. They even have eyelids that move. . . Darwin viewed the similarities that Linnaeus had found as signs that whales (including porpoises and dolphins) descended from mammals that lived on land."
-- Carl Zimmer, Evolution
Source: PBS - WGBH Boston "Evolution" Project
Image may be re-distributed on the condition that all credits stay intact:
Reprinted with permission from Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. Source: Art by Deborah Perugi, adapted from Carl Buell's cladogram from At the Water's Edge, by Carl Zimmer, Free Press, 1998.
Thewissen 2002, Origin of Whales