My teaching schedule this semester is a major time-suck; I’m teaching genetics and all of its associated labs (you really don’t want to know how much prep time goes into setting up fly labs), I’m doing some major revision of the content this year, and I’ve got this asymmetric schedule that packs everything into the first half of each week. So I simply have to protest when those evil (Stein was right!) scientists announce a major discovery on a Tuesday, which just happens to be the very worst day of the week for me. They’ve gone and found another important whale transitional fossil, Maiacetus, and I’m just going to have to tell you to go read a bunch of other fine blogs that already have it covered.
It’s beautiful. It’s clearly adapted for aquatic life, but it has another revealing feature: this specimen was pregnant at death, and the fetus is oriented for a head-first birth, which is not good for birth at sea (the head would pop out, baby would take its first breath, and drown before the tail emerged), so this animal would have had to give birth on land.