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Published: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:47:56 GMT


Finding the ‘tooth’ about baleen whales

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:01:00 GMT

Source: --- Thursday, December 07, 2017
The authors. Credit: Ben Healley. Back in August, Biology Letters published an open access paper on the teeth of archaic Baleen Whales . The study was picked up in the media and was featured in The Guardian and Newsweek , among others. We caught up with one of the authors, Dr David Hocking from Monash University and Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, and asked more about his paper and his experience publishing with Royal Society Publishing. Tell us about yourself and your research I am a postdoctoral research fellow at Monash University and Museums Victoria, where I combine study of ancient fossils with modern animal behaviour to learn about the evolution of underwater feeding in Whales, dolphins and seals. This change from hunting on land to feeding entirely underwater was one of the great challenges facing mammals that moved back into the sea. My research seeks to explore how these species use their anatomy (e.g. jaws, teeth and claws) to catch, kill and process food underwater. Finding relationships between form and function in living species provides the information needed to make inferences about behaviour for extinct species in the fossil record. This lets us track behaviour over time, highlighting how differences in behaviour may have influenced the evolution of these remarkable animals.   What is your article about? One of the great mysteries in marine mammal evolution is the question of how ancient Whales replace ...