Baleen whale ancestors had teeth, but lost them

Baleen whale ancestors were toothed-whales that slowly lost their teeth while growing in baleen to replace them. https://www.si.edu/newsdesk/releases/whales-lost-their-teeth-evolving-hair-baleen-their-mouths Makes sense. Those whales that just so happened to have an advantage of capturing more prey survived and passed that trait down to their young. While the teeth, having not served as much a purpose faded into obscurity. I'm curious what pressures led to such a drastic change. Obviously prey availability was a factor. Surely, some prey items were more abundant and/or available than others. As faster prey eluded them, being able to gulp-down slower moving prey surely aided in their survival. Add some baleen and you have the perfect crustacean killing machine. 🦐 Cetacean evolution absolutely fascinates me. Not included in the article: two whales were found with features indicating both teeth and baleen. Can we say "Transitional"? :-) Aetiocetus cotylalveus and Chonecetus goedertorum. Wow! https://ecologicablog.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-evolution-of-baleen-evidence-from-molecules-and-morphology/


©2016-2020 - AmazingLife.Bio