Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

More Ridiculous Fossils…

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerAugust 18, 2006 6:17 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

paleoparadoxa.jpg

I was happy to see that my post on Tuesday about the evolution of whales attracted a lot of readers. One commenter asked about seals and manatees. As other commenters kindly explained, those mammals descend from other ancestors (relatives of bears and elephants, respectively) that independently moved into the water. This transition has occurred many times since vertebrates moved on land. In some cases, the animals have adapted completely to the water (such as marine reptiles). In other cases, the transition has not been so complete. Other relatives of elephants evolved into desmostylians, sometimes called "sea-bears." They looked like polar bears but fed on aquatic plants. (pdfs here and here) The picture here is of Paleoparadoxia, from Siberia. And then there were the aquatic sloths. Yup--sloths. Here's a post I wrote on their transition to the sea.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In