The largest marine animals: whaling for evolution



You don’t just breed a whale by adding cells to a cow or a wolf. The cells needed to support a massive animal, in addition to being multiplied by orders of magnitude, must be organized with precision. Whole body systems need to be redesigned for life in the water. Consider some very large sea creatures, some alive and some extinct, and see how Darwinians try to explain them.

Whales justly excite our admiration. Recently, a passenger was enjoying a ride on Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari (featured in Illustra’s film Rapids), and took a great photo: a rainbow produced by a humpback whale as it sent a fountain of spray through its vent. Live Science posted the photo, titling the occasion, “Whale Sneezes Rainbow, Proving Nature is Beautiful and Weird.” As we watch the news on some of the greatest sea creatures that ever lived, we might justify changing this headline to “Nature is beautiful; The evolution is strange.

Evolution of baleen

Humpback whales are baleen whales, using fibrous strands to filter their food instead of their teeth. Jeremy Jackson begins our evolutionary whaling by Science Magazine with a Darwinesque article, “On the evolution of baleen whales”.

Baleen whales include the the biggest animals that ever lived, corn their evolutionary history has been difficult to decipher Due to conflicting evidence from genes and morphology. rnason et al. performed whole genome sequencing blue whale and five other baleen species to reconstruct in detail their evolutionary history. All existing species born within the last 10 million years as global climates have gradually cooled towards the poles. Taxonomic relationships complicated by evidence of gene flow and hybridization between species facilitated by the absence of geographic barriers. Speciation occurred within an interwoven network of coexisting lineages, rather than the classic Darwinian model of bifurcating trees which is characteristic of most animals. [Emphasis added.]

Contradictory evidence, complicated relationships, gene flow and hybridization: this is not the story told by Darwin. We will leave to the reader’s imagination whether global climates, cooling towards the poles, caused the “origin” of anything, let alone whales.

Evolution of jazz

Humpback whales aren’t the only songsters. National Geographic recently reported on the “incredible and wild sounds” emitted by bowhead whales, which journalist Carrie Arnold calls the “jazz musicians of the sea”. These 60-foot baleen whales that live in the arctic are singing a storm. Their songs are to hunchbacks what jazz is to Bach, she writes.

Recordings made by marine biologists led by Kate Stafford at the University of Washington show rapid changes and improvisations that change in a season. We know that Bach’s music is cleverly designed. Can Darwin explain the jazzy songs of the bowhead whale? “Stafford still doesn’t know why these songs are so diverse, or what the song is for. Maybe Stafford should look at W. Ford Doolittle’s evolutionary mechanism: “It’s the song, not the singer.” “

Evolution of the blue whale

Now we should get some evolution data! Recently, Daily science reports, European teams have sequenced the genome of the blue whale (the largest animal that has ever lived, in the 100-foot range). They compared it to the genes of other whales (the largest group of baleen whales, including humpback whales and right whales). Did they find a Darwinian model?

Surprisingly, genomes show that whales were hybridization during their evolutionary history. In addition, the whales appear to have separated into different species. in the absence of geographic barriers. This phenomenon, called sympatric speciation, is very rare in animals….

Now, new research points out that the evolution of these extraordinary animals and other whales was also anything but ordinary.

We also read in the open access document in Scientists progress this “Rebuilding evolution baleen whales (Mysticeti) was problem because morphological and genetic analyzes produced different scenarios.As we have seen previously, hybridization and the “intertwined network of co-occurring lineages” are the norm, and not the “classic Darwinian model” of branching trees.

Evolution of the ichthyosaur

Some extinct marine reptiles rivaled the blue whale in size. Bones of a massive ichthyosaur, estimated to be 85 feet long, have been found in southwest England, National Geographic said. Journalist John Pickrell doesn’t mention evolution at all. However, he points out a remarkable case of convergence: these giants have “body shapes superficially similar to those of dolphins”.

TO The conversation, Dean Lomax of the University of Manchester describes “How we found a giant ichthyosaur almost as big as a blue whale”. Maybe he can tell us how this creature evolved. Not yet; no mention of evolution, just details of how they found the bones and identified them.

Evolution of the mosasaur

Perhaps a Darwinian pattern will appear in mosasaurs, another family of extinct marine reptiles with body shapes similar to sharks. They were powerful swimmers and gave birth to live young, becoming predominant in the Cretaceous after the extinction of many ichthyosaurs. They perished with the last of the dinosaurs. An international expert on mosasaurs, Takuya Konishi, can surely tell us about their evolution, right? We are looking for the article on with desperate hope:

Mosasaurs are more closely related to snakes and lizards than to dinosaurs. While mosasaurs died out 65 million years ago, other marine reptiles from this period, such as sea turtles, have persisted. By learning more about mosasaurs, we can understand evolutionary processes such as extinction that influence species today, Konishi said.

Is extinction an “evolutionary process”? Is persistence an evolutionary process? Darwin won’t get very far building giant swimmers out of bacteria at this rate. The main thing Konishi is able to talk about is their diet. They probably ate fish, he says.

“There are still a lot of things, from basic taxonomy to physiology to paleobiology questions we have on mosasaurs, ”Konishi said.

One of these questions must surely be how they arose out of a blind Darwinian process.

Wikipedia, of all places, should be a reliable advocate of evolution. Under the “evolutionary story” on mosasaurs, however, they put forward a theory that mosasaurs share a common ancestor with sea snakes. Then they shoot him down. After evolutionists have believed this for over a century, we read that new fossils “cast doubt on the marine origin hypothesis.” We challenge anyone willing to read the jargon-rich three-paragraph explanation to find something solid. It is perhaps this, perhaps this search for the common ancestor, with incredible diversions towards convergence or parallel evolution. Everything is contested.

The meatiest statement is: “The exact phylogenetic position of the clade containing the mosasaurids and their closest relatives… remains uncertain. The elephant in the room is the big question: how do you turn a snake or a monitor lizard into a mosasaur?

Photo: A humpback whale, by Christopher Michel, via Flickr.

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