Pakicetus: An Unlikely Ancestor Of Whales

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Pakicetus lived around 50 million years ago in the area that is now Pakistan. It was about the size of a dog, and ate a carnivorous diet of meat and fish. Its long skull and distinctive ear bone link its anatomy to that of modern-day whales. Though members of the genus are often illustrated as furry mammals, they probably didn't have too much body hair.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. All marine mammals evolved from land mammals. 00:11

  2. Rodhocetus had nostrils at the top of its head to help it breathe while it swam. 00:52

  3. Basilosaurus grew up to 20 meters in length. 01:31

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