Hind limbs of eocene basilosaurus: evidence of feet in whales.


Journal Article

New specimens of middle Eocene Basilosaurus isis from Egypt include the first functional pelvic limb and foot bones known in Cetacea. These are important in corroborating the intermediate evolutionary position of archaeocetes between generalized Paleocene land mammals that used hind limbs in locomotion and Oligocene-to- Recent whales that lack functional pelvic limbs. The foot is paraxonic, consistent with derivation from mesonychid Condylarthra. Hind limbs of Basilosaurus are interpreted as copulatory guides.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Gingerich, PD; Smith, BH; Simons, EL

Published Date

  • July 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 249 / 4965

Start / End Page

  • 154 - 157

PubMed ID

  • 17836967

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17836967

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.249.4965.154


  • eng