Sunday, 15 February 2009
Pakicetus inachus courtesy of Arthur Weasley, Wikipedia org.
Pakistan is obviously the El Dorado of whale fossils or at least of the earthly remains of what Darwinists think could possibly be terrestrial ancestors of cetaceans. Pakicetus got its name from the country. Recently Philip Gingerich and his team found two adult skeletons there. One of them was a creature that was fossilised while giving birth.
Since the Maicatetus inuus calf was obviously being born head first, Gingerich, a palaeontologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, suggests that these creatures gave birth to their young on land. Whales are born tail first.
The Maicatetus inuus fossils are thought to be 47 million years old.
Gingerich believes that early whales lived on land but also took to the sea. Some existing animals, such as seals and sea lions, also live on land and swim in the sea, so the whale connection is rather conjectural.
The search for a whale ancestor has been something of a holy grail for evolutionists. Its significance seems to equal the quest for a feathered dinosaur that unfortunately for them keeps on evading discovery despite occasional reports to the contrary.
Is there any real evidence that Maicatetus inuus is a whale ancestor?
Perhaps we should remember past discoveries that later turned out to be less than convincing.
When Gingerich discovered Pakicetus inachus in the early 1980s, it was initially thought to be a marine creature – on the basis of a few teeth and fragments of the skull and lower jaw. Dated at 52 million years it was touted as a whale ancestor. Science magazine even published a front cover showing a diving Pakicetus.
However, when more bones were unearthed, it became obvious that Pakicetus was a land animal resembling a pig.
So perhaps we ought to remember Pakicetus before believing that Pakistani whales used to give birth on land.
Callaway, Ewen and Catherine Brahic. 2009. Primitive whales gave birth on land. New Scientist. com 4 February 2009.
Gingerich, Philip D., Munir ul-Haq, Wighart von Koenigswald, William J. Sanders, B. Holly Smith and Iyad S. Zalmout. 2009. New Protocetid Whale from the Middle Eocene of Pakistan: Birth on Land, Precocial Development, and Sexual Dimorphism. PloS ONE. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004366
Sarfati, Jonathan. 2002. Refuting Evolution. 2nd ed. Acacia Ridge: Answers in Genesis.
Thewissen, J. G. M., E. M. Williams, L. J. Roe and S. T. Hussain. 2001. Skeletons of terrestrial cetaceans and the relationship of whales to artiodactyls. Nature 413: 277–281. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v413/n6853/abs/413277a0.html