According to this hypothesis, the ancient whale teeth served the same function as whiskers of modern cetaceans.
Australian scientists have refuted the idea of evolution of marine mammals, which was based on the assumption of Darwin. According to this hypothesis, the ancient whale teeth served the same function as whiskers modern cetaceans, however, the new data showed that the first were not designed for filtering water and trapping invertebrates. Article researchers published in the journal Biology Letters.
Charles Darwin assumed that baleen used to filter and catch small organisms could evolve from the horn plates. This conversion consisted of “gradual small steps”, each of which should be useful for marine mammals. According to current data, the precursors of baleen whales were toothed cetaceans. Thus, based on the assumption of Darwin, some experts believed that whiskers was gradually formed, not only from records, and teeth.
The researchers conducted detailed 3D modeling of the tooth prehistoric whale, whose remains were discovered in 2016 in the rocks on the coast of the Australian town of Torquay. Fossils belonged to the predecessor of baleen cetacean Janjucetus hunderi, lived 23-28 million years ago in the Oligocene period. This animal has a delicate teeth able, according to some experts, to filter the water. Thus, the mammal could represent a transitional form between the ancient animals that hunted large prey, and modern that catch marine invertebrates.
The researchers compared the resulting model with living predators that use the teeth to filter (by a leopard seal and a crab-eater seal) and common ground (Dingo) and extinct marine predators (squalodon). It turned out that the teeth of Janjucetus hunderi was sharp and suitable for tearing flesh, not for filtering plankton. That is, they could not perform the filtering function.
The researchers ‘ findings do not refute Darwin’s theory of evolution, but merely indicate the fallibility of specific hypotheses about the mechanism of the appearance of Horny plates. According to scientists, the formation of the whalebone did not happen smoothly and could not do without losing teeth and voznikoveniia absolutely new antecedent structure.
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