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The Dolphin With Leftover Legs 441

ectotherm writes "Japanese scientists have captured a dolphin with vestigial legs. Evidence, it would seem, of a land-dwelling past and observable evolution." From the article: "Fishermen captured the four-finned dolphin alive off the coast of Wakayama prefecture (state) in western Japan on Oct. 28, and alerted the nearby Taiji Whaling Museum, according to museum director Katsuki Hayashi. Fossil remains show dolphins and whales were four-footed land animals about 50 million years ago and share the same common ancestor as hippos and deer. Scientists believe they later transitioned to an aquatic lifestyle and their hind limbs disappeared. Whale and dolphin fetuses also show signs of hind protrusions but these generally disappear before birth."

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