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Détail de la notice
Titre du Document
Land-to-sea transition in early whales: evolution of Eocene Archaeoceti (Cetacea) in relation to skeletal proportions and locomotion of living semiaquatic mammals
Auteur(s)
GINGERICH Philip D.
Résumé
Skeletal remains of Eocene Archaeoceti provide the only direct and unequivocal evidence of the evolutionary transition of whales from land to sea. Archaeocete skeletons complete enough to be informative about locomotion are rare (principally Rodhocetus and Dorudon), and these deserve to be studied in comparison to the full spectrum of semiaquatic mammals. A principal components analysis of 14 trunk and limb measurements for 50 species of living semiaquatic mammals reduces the observed variation to three informative axes. The first principal axis (PC-I) represents overall size (water mice and shrews have the lowest scores on this axis and the hippopotamus has the highest); the second axis (PC-II) represents a spectrum of aquatic adaptation (seals have the lowest scores and tapirs have the highest); and the third principal axis (PC-III) represents a spectrum ranging from hindlimb- to forelimb-dominated locomotion (sea otters have the lowest scores and the platypus the highest). Dorudon fits poorly into a morphospace defined solely by living semiaquatic mammals; thus a second 53-species set was analyzed, adding an anthracothere to represent an artiodactyl ancestral morphology and two species of archaeocetes to represent successive stages of early whale evolution. This addition has little effect on the first two principal axes but changes the third substantially. PC-III now represents a contrast of lumbus- (and presumably tail-) dominated versus hindlimb-dominated locomotion (Dor
Editeur
Paleontological Society
Identifiant
ISSN : 0094-8373 CODEN : PALBBM
Source
Paleobiology A. 2003, vol. 29, n° 3, pp. 429-454 [26 pages]
Langue
Anglais
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