Friday, 26 May 2017

Fishy Tail Tale, Courtesy of Live Science

Image courtesy of Terry Howard, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

When the title of a pro-evolution article starts with the words 'Tale of 2 Tails,' we would expect to be treated to an intriguing, yet speculative Darwinian story.

This is what recently happened at Live Science.

Marine creatures, we are told, do not swim in the same way. Whales evolved from mammals that lived on land. They move their tails up and down. Sharks, in contrast, are fish, so they move their tails from side to side.

This is how Kenneth Lacovara, a professor of paleontology and geology at Rowan University, explains the difference.

He says that this is the way their respective ancestors (Pakicetus for whales and Tiktaalik for fish) moved, and they obviously haven’t had the time to change their habits despite making transitions from land to water (whales) and water to land (fish ancestor) during the assumed tens of millions of years, and then the poor fish had to get wet again.

Tales like these might be entertaining, but they’re definitely not based on facts.


Geggel, Laura 2017. Tale of 2 Tails: Why Do Sharks and Whales Swim So Differently? Live Science (20 May).