The Corpus Callosum

Perfect Bumpersticker

This is an illustration of Basilosaurus, a fossil
whale discovered in
Egypt by Phil Gingerich and colleagues.  Gingerich is the guy
who taught me everything I know knew about collecting fossils.

I wanted on the team that went to Egypt, though.  I had other
priorities, like medical school.  Can’t do everything.

Anyway, here is an illustration of the critter:

i-78628524f4423892ac807c29667a42b4-Basilosaurus.jpg


Yes, those are legs on that whale.  The successful excavation
of the 16-meter (50-foot) specimen is noted at href="http://www.nature-spot.com/2008/11/u-m-team-recovers-ancient-whale-in.html">Amazing
Nature.

Obviously, Basilosaurus is a poster fossil for
evolutionists.  The historical significance is discussed at href="http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/2007/12/shaking_the_cetacean_evolution.php">Laelaps;
the genetic basis for the limbs is discussed at href="http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/05/no_genes_were_lost_in_the_maki.php">Pharygula.

Actually, the discovery is not new.  They found it back in the
1980′s.  But it was fully excavated this year.  The
plan is to prepare it for exhibition.  The preparation will be
done at the University of Michigan, but it will be exhibited in Egypt
(which is only fair; it belongs to them).  Gingrich would like
to make a complete cast for exhibition at the href="http://www.lsa.umich.edu/ExhibitMuseum">UM Exhibit
Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor, but the article does
not say whether that actually will happen.

I hope it does.  I still remember going to that museum when I
was four years old.  Made quite an impression.  A
50-foot skeleton (or cast) would be great, although I don’t know where
they would put it.

Comments

  1. #1 Laelaps
    November 14, 2008

    Thanks for the link! Just one small correction;

    “Actually, the discovery is not new. They found it back in the 1980′s”

    Actually, Basilosaurus was named in 1834! The reason why it is has “saurus” in its name was because the first described remains were thought to belong to a gigantic seagoing reptile, and it was only in the 1840′s that the remains were recognized to belong to a whale. Since Basilosaurus came first, though, the name has priority.

    (I have written about Basilosaurus and toothed whales here, too.)

    If I’m not mistaken, the Basilosaurus discovered in Egypt in the 1980′s was a new species, Basilosaurus isis, which is the one I think you refer to in the post. These were the specimens that revealed the existence of the tiny hind limbs for the first time in this genera.

    I didn’t want to nit pick; I just thought you might like to know!

  2. #2 Romeo Vitelli
    November 14, 2008

    “Obviously, Basilosaurus is a poster fossil for evolutionists”

    Perish the thought. God just created it to strengthen the belief of creationists. It just went extinct because those tiny legs made it fall off the Ark.

  3. #3 Even Stephan
    November 18, 2008

    Perfect Bumpersticker

    My car isn’t big enough.