Paleo Profile: The Crown Tooth
Original story at Scientific American Blog Network• 7 mentions • 2 months ago
Scientific American Blog Network 2 months ago
Baleen whales used to have teeth. Paleontologists have known this for decades now, pulling one grinning mysticete after another from strata all over the world. But when did the ancestors of today's minkes and humpbacks make the switch from chomping their food to straining the seas? A new fossil whale found in the 30 million year old rock of South Carolina offers some new clues. Up to now, there have been two competing hypotheses for how filter feeding evolved among the mysticete whales. One line of argument suggested that ancestral baleen whales were suction feeders and that this led to ...