Evolution of Whales Animation

Whales have existed for million of years. Watch this animation, from the Sant Ocean Hall, to see how they evolved from land-dwellers to the animals we know today. Discover more about whale evolution in our Ocean Over Time interactive. Note: this video contains no audio.

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Submitted by Dave Millsap (not verified) on

Here's where this is FUNNY: Between "Maiacetus" (large webbed hind limbs, small forelimbs, no tail flukes..how they know about the tail when whales don't have bones in the flutes leaving no skeletal evidence is another question) to "Dorudon" (no hind limbs, large webbed forelimbs, slightly fluted tail...again...no skeletal evidence) there were roughly 10 Million years. So now with much more body mass, much less useful limbs...can survive better as fully aquatic while waiting for the hind limbs and forelimbs to swap purposes. Amusing to 6 year old's and other gullible people however glaringly devoid of science it is to me.

Submitted by Bad Animation (not verified) on

The animation was pretty bad, perhapes if it was of higher quality, and/or narrated this would be better. What would bd cooler would be the evolution of pterosaurs.

Submitted by Anthony Donnell (not verified) on

This is hard to believe that the environment can change from walking on land to completely aquatic.

Submitted by Mike (not verified) on

You really expect me to believe this? Just like the big bang that didn't go bang (expansion not from explosion), in which a speck of REALLY condensed matter and energy didn't go bang and expanded into trillions of stars and planets and etc and etc and etc. Where did that really condensed matter and energy come from. Of course the answer is nothing. The bones at the rear of the whale that were supposedly it's now useless rear legs are actually attachment points for muscles and tendons and ligaments in much the same way as our tailbone is. Those on the whale are needed to give birth. Anyhow, I believe it takes less faith to believe in a creator than a no bang big bang that produced everything out of nothing and it all just so happened to be soooooo right. The second law of thermodynamics states that it can't happen. Order is not created out of kaos.

Submitted by Reginald Finley Sr (not verified) on

No, we don't expect you to believe this. We expect those that know how to evaluate evidence properly to accept this as true. We expect this due to the overwhelming evidence. Not because of ideology. This page is about whale evolution, not cosmo-genesis, so I'll ignore that, irrelevant. Please stop visiting creationist websites that don't know what they are talking about. The evidence for cetacean evolution is clear. Fossil evidence, genetic evidence, phylogenetic evidence, and an immense host of other data supports this. These aren't arm-chair guesses. To discount this, you'd have to explain why: Whales breathe air if they were specially created for the sea (whales can drown). Why many whales have terrestrial mammal bones structures in their flippers? Why they have partial hindlimbs with digits? (You mention for birthing, but that isn't necessary if it were designed) Why did earlier whales have nostrils toward the front while later whales have nostrils at the top? Why do we see a transition of the nostril through fossils in varying time periods? Why do whales have so much fat? Why do they swim via vertical undulation (up and down, not side to side)? Terrestrial tetrapod mammals move successfully in this manner. Why do whales vocalize in ways more akin to terrestrial mammals? Why are they warm-blooded? Why do fossils from different time periods show a gradual change in body structure between whale species? Why are whales more closely related to Hippos according to the DNA? Why are the fossils of these transitional species found exactly where they should be in the fossil record? I could go on but the answer to this question is evolution. In light of evolution, this all makes sense. If you think each organism was specially created, we have a problem, as cetaceans could be better suited to the environment. Honestly, it's so easy, even a 6 year old can understand it.

Submitted by Tyler (not verified) on

"Where did all that matter come from?" Where did the creator come from? How does a supremely complex being come into existence all on its own? Same answer nothing. If God can exist without a beginning, I don't see any reason why anything else couldn't. Yes the bones are likely useful for birth, much like they are for tetrapods and is probably why they didn't shed them completely, but vestigial doesn't mean functionless; it means reduced function. Why did the Dorudon need digits to go with it's limbs? I highly doubt they were needed for sex and the limbs themselves are far too small to be useful for propulsion. For me the most reasonable answer is that the limbs once originated from a common ancestor that once walked on land. I don't see common design because if it was, why didn't the common designer design other whales to have limbs like Dorudon? I only see inconsistent unguided design. Your last point is just applying false attributes to the second law of thermodynamics. SloT only applies to the impossibility of indefinite use of energy in a closed system. Order is created out of chaos all the time; supernova's give birth to new stars, beautiful snow flakes are created without the aid of a designer, even hurricanes and tornadoes themselves are complex wind and water cycles.

Submitted by SHILPA (not verified) on


Submitted by Finn & His Mom (not verified) on

My 6 year old loved watching this whale evolution. He reasoned that there had to be "land walking whales" because, "if whales evolved from land mammals, then they had to walk on land." So, we looked it up to see if there was anything on the topic. This was great!!! He's watched it 3 times. Thank you.

Submitted by bms (not verified) on

this is boring.

Submitted by orly (not verified) on


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Nice information video on the evolution of species! To bad it hasn't have audio, any way to find a copy with the audio enabled? Would help a lot.
Thanks, Lais

Submitted by Caroline (not verified) on

this video was detailed and was also very helpful THANKYOU!:)

Submitted by Name666 (not verified) on

Video isn't visible in Firefox 27.0.1, no add-ons, default plugins.

Submitted by Alicia (not verified) on


Submitted by RAWRRRR (not verified) on

People believe in different things. Some people believe in the science side some believe in the religious side. Scientists are just researching because this is what they have found through fossils and have researched it for longer and gone into more detail than what we know! No point arguing what you believe. Everyone has their own opinion. End of story.

Submitted by Guillermo Zubiaga (not verified) on

RAWRRRR Sorry. but I could not disagree with you more. Science is not based on a dogmatic system of believes but on facts. There is no argument here. Feel free to believe the sun revolves around the earth or that the earth is flat, but do not be surprised if your believes are followed by ill conceived laughter.

Submitted by Cat (not verified) on

this is pretty cool, but I believe that God created the world and that when he did it was not million and billions of years ago man and animal were created around the same time. and I refuse to believe I am from monkeys or apes or whatever, I am created in God's image and I bet you he is not a monkey, God bless all!

Submitted by Ricardo (not verified) on

Denial is a word that was made up to account for religion's inability to co-exist with science. You can choose to believe in Creationism or Intelligent Design, but they are ideologies with no basis in fact or science.

Submitted by Brayds (not verified) on

Yet evolution is only a theory, surrounded by science and no fact.

Submitted by Nope (not verified) on

Evolution is not 'only a theory'. Not in the sense that you or I might theorize about something on a whim.

Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC theory backed by MOUNTAINS of EVIDENCE. At this point it is basically a law/fact.

Submitted by John Johnson (not verified) on

Evolution is a theory. But so is gravity. So is quantum mechanics. But just as gravity is useful for putting satellites in orbit, and quantum mechanics is necessary for making computers work, evolution is a useful theory that allows us to understanding the origins of the diversity of life on Earth. It's also useful for understanding genetics, developing cures for diseases, medicine, bio-synthetics, etc. You can dismiss it as "just a theory," but you can use the same logic to dismiss the existence of electrons or general relativity. However, since electrons and GR don't contradict your system of beliefs, you make the decision to dismiss one yet believe the others, and take advantage of all of them.

Submitted by E.F.W. (not verified) on

Gravity is a law.
It is not a theory.
Believe in what you want, but don't force those beliefs upon others.

Submitted by Gregory8 (not verified) on

Gravity is still called a theory, not a law, by physicists because many of the factors governing gravity are yet to be discovered. Only laypersons with a limited understanding of physics call it "A Law". But even laypersons can make everyday predictions, along with physicist, on the basic outcomes of gravity such a when a person falls from a ladder, he will always fall towards the Earth rather than floating upwards. However, things get a little more complicated when talking about gravity on the subatomic level. The same goes for evolution, in that many predictions can be made from existing data, and they have been found very accurate as well. In summary: in science a 'theory' means facts (incomplete set) to support a logical, predictable conclusion. Only highly religious folks seem incapable of grasping 'scientific facts' when they are in conflict with their egotistic (childish) view of being special creatures in a universe that is over 13 Billion years old.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

It all happened so long ago. Who would have thought whales evolved from land dwelling organisms! And how did they get so big from a rather small creature?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

This is informative, but where can I find more information?

Submitted by bill (not verified) on

go to you tube 90 minute lecture by Dr. Donald Prothero: Evolution how we know it happened. Interesting, clear, funny, detailed description (diagrams and pictures) of the fossils which demonstrate the transitions between species.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on