Hans Thewissen, professor of anatomy and expert on the evolution of whales, will deliver a talk called “Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin! Documenting Macroevolution in the Origin of Whales” on Thurs., Feb. 9, at 6:30pm in Hyland Hall’s Timmerman Auditorium. This free public lecture is the featured event in UWW’s 2012 Darwin Day celebration. Many organizations celebrate International Darwin Day, the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday on Feb. 12, 1809.
Thewissen’s research is identifying fossils that establish whales’ evolutionary transition from their four-legged, land-walking ancestors. The Science Daily article “How Ancient Whales Lost Their Legs, Got Sleek And Conquered The Oceans” suggests that it’s all because of the Sonic hedgehog!
Have I wetted (ahem, I mean whetted) your curiosity, so that you want to learn more? Andersen Library has resources!
- Search article databases for Thewissen as an author, and among the results will be: “The origin and early evolution of whales: Macroevolution documented on the Indian Subcontinent” (Journal of Biosciences, 2009, vol.34:no.5, pp.673-686, doi:10.1007/s12038-009-0060-0), “Whales originated from aquatic artiodactyls in the Eocene epoch of India” (Nature, 2007, vol.450:no.7173, pp.1190-1194), and “Developmental basis for hind-limb loss in dolphins and origin of the cetacean bodyplan” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006, vol.103:no.22, pp.8414-8418, doi:10.1073/pnas.0602920103).
- Search HALCat (Harold Andersen Library’s catalog) to find books, e.g., Beasts of Eden: Walking whales, dawn horses, and other enigmas of mammal evolution (3rd-floor Main Collection, QL708.5 .W25 2004) and The emergence of whales: Evolutionary patterns in the origin of Cetacea–by Thewissen! (3rd-floor Main Collection, QL737.C4 E335 1998).
Please ask a librarian for assistance with finding materials.