A Short Evolution of the Whale
From the first mammal to the largest animal on the planet
The First Mammals
The first mammals were rodent-like creatures called cynodonts of the late Triassic period. These creatures had developed adaptations such as hair and special milk glands to feed their young without the risk of leaving the burrow to find food, this classifies them as the first mammals instead of reptiles.
What Came Right Before the Whale?
49 million years ago, the ambulocetus swam like no mammal before. It later evolved into something like a dolphin. It had webbed feet and was the next step towards the whales you know today.
36 million years ago, just before one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the earth, whales dominated the oceans. Forget the gentle filter feeders of the present, back then, all whales, were killers.
These are the whales you know today. These days, there is a wide variety of whales. Some are still predators, like the orca which hunt in packs and may have evolved from wolf-like creatures. The largest animal on the planet, however, is still with us today; the blue whale.
Some mammals are on their way to being whale-like creatures. Like the polar bear which spends most of its time in the water. Polar bears are superb swimmers and have webbed feet!