The Origin of Flight According to Evolutionists Birds and Dinosaur The Unique Structure of Avian Lungs Bird Feathers and Reptile Scales The Design of Feathers
The Archaeopteryx Misconception The Teeth and Claws of Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx and Other Ancient Bird Fossils Archaeoraptor: The Dino-Bird Hoax
The Origin of Insects The Origin of Mammals The Myth of Horse Evolution












 The Myth of the Walking Whale

Fossil remains of the extinct mammal Pakicetus inachus, to give it its proper name, first came onto the agenda in 1983. P. D. Gingerich and his assistants, who found the fossil, had no hesitation in immediately claiming that it was a "primitive whale," even though they actually only found a skull.

Yet the fossil has absolutely no connection with the whale. Its skeleton turned out to be a four-footed structure, similar to that of common wolves. It was found in a region full of iron ore, and containing fossils of such terrestrial creatures as snails, tortoises, and crocodiles. In other words, it was part of a land stratum, not an aquatic one.

So, why was a quadrupedal land dweller announced to be a "primitive whale" and why is it still presented as such by evolutionist sources like National Geographic? The magazine gives the following reply:

What causes scientists to declare the creature a whale? Subtle clues in combination-the arrangement of cusps on the molar teeth, a folding in a bone of the middle ear, and the positioning of the ear bones within the skull-are absent in other land mammals but a signature of later Eocene whales.160

In other words, based on some details in its teeth and ear bones, National Geographic felt able to describe this quadrupedal, wolf-like land dweller as a "walking whale." These features, however, are not compelling evidence on which to base a link between Pakicetus and the whale:

- As National Geographic also indirectly stated while writing "subtle clues in combination," some of these features are actually found in terrestrial animals as well.

Distortions in the Reconstructions of National Geographic
Paleontologists believe that Pakicetus was a quadrupedal mammal. The skeletal structure on the left, published in the Nature magazine clearly demonstrates this. Thus the reconstruction of Pakicetus ( left) by Carl Buell, which was based on that structure, is realistic.
National Geographic, however, opted to use a picture of a "swimming" Pakicetus (left) in order to portray the animal as a "walking whale" and to impose that image on its readers. The inconsistencies in the picture, intended to make Pakicetus seem more "whale-like," are immediately obvious: The animal has been portrayed in a "swimming" position. Its hind legs are shown stretching out backwards, and an impression of "fins" has been given.
Pakicetus reconstruction by National Geographic.
National Geographic's Ambulocetus: The animal's rear legs are shown not with feet that would help it to walk, but as fins that would assist it to swim. However, Carroll, who examines the animal's leg bones, says that it possessed the ability to move powerfully on land.
The real Ambulocetus : The legs are real legs, not "fins," and there are no imaginary webs between its toes such as National Geographic had added. (Picture from Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, p. 335)

- None of the features in question are any evidence of an evolutionary relationship. Even evolutionists admit that most of the theoretical relationships built on the basis of anatomical similarities between animals are completely untrustworthy. If the marsupial Tasmanian wolf and the common placental wolf had both been extinct for a long time, then there is no doubt that evolutionists would picture them in the same taxon and define them as very close relatives. However, we know that these two different animals, although strikingly similar in their anatomy, are very far from each other in the supposed evolutionary tree of life. (In fact their similarity indicates common design-not common descent.) Pakicetus, which evolutionists declare to be a "walking whale," was a unique species harboring different features in its body. In fact, Carroll, an authority on vertebrate paleontology, describes the Mesonychid family, of which Pakicetus should be a member, as "exhibiting an odd combination of characters."161

In his article "The Overselling of Whale Evolution," the creationist writer Ashby L. Camp reveals the total invalidity of the claim that the Mesonychid class, which should include land mammals such as Pakicetus, could have been the ancestors of Archaeocetea, or extinct whales, in these words:

The reason evolutionists are confident that mesonychids gave rise to archaeocetes, despite the inability to identify any species in the actual lineage, is that known mesonychids and archaeocetes have some similarities. These similarities, however, are not sufficient to make the case for ancestry, especially in light of the vast differences. The subjective nature of such comparisons is evident from the fact so many groups of mammals and even reptiles have been suggested as ancestral to whales.162

The second fossil creature after Pakicetus in the scenario on whale origins is Ambulocetus natans. It is actually a land creature that evolutionists have insisted on turning into a whale.

The name Ambulocetus natans comes from the Latin words ambulare (to walk), cetus (whale) and natans (swimming), and means "a walking and swimming whale." It is obvious the animal used to walk because it had four legs, like all other mammals, and even wide claws on its feet and paws on its hind legs. Apart from evolutionists' prejudice, however, there is absolutely no basis for the claim that it swam in water, or that it lived on land and in water (like an amphibian).

After Pakicetus and Ambulocetus, the evolutionist plan moves on to so-called sea mammals and sets out (extinct whale) species such as Procetus, Rodhocetus, and Archaeocetea. The animals in question were mammals that lived in the sea and which are now extinct. (We shall be touching on this matter later.) However, there are considerable anatomical differences between these and Pakicetus and Ambulocetus. When we look at the fossils, it is clear they are not "transitional forms" linking each other:

- The backbone of the quadrupedal mammal Ambulocetus ends at the pelvis, and powerful rear legs then extend from it. This is typical land-mammal anatomy. In whales, however, the backbone goes right down to the tail, and there is no pelvic bone at all. In fact, Basilosaurus, believed to have lived some 10 million years after Ambulocetus, possesses the latter anatomy. In other words, it is a typical whale. There is no transitional form between Ambulocetus, a typical land mammal, and Basilosaurus, a typical whale.

- Under the backbone of Basilosaurus and the sperm whale, there are small bones independent of it. National Geographic claims these to be vestigial legs. Yet that same magazine mentions that these bones actually had another function. In Basilosaurus, these bones functioned as copulary guides and in sperm whales "[act] as an anchor for the muscles of the genitalia."163 To describe these bones, which actually carry out important functions, as "vestigial organs" is nothing but Darwinistic prejudice.

In conclusion, despite evolutionist propaganda, the fact that there were no transitional forms between land and sea mammals and that they both emerged with their own particular features has not changed. There is no evolutionary link. Robert Carroll accepts this, albeit unwillingly and in evolutionist language: "It is not possible to identify a sequence of mesonychids leading directly to whales."164

Although he is an evolutionist, the famous Russian whale expert G. A. Mchedlidze, too, does not support the description of Pakicetus, Ambulocetus natans, and similar four-legged creatures as "possible ancestors of the whale," and describes them instead as a completely isolated group.165

160 Douglas H. Chadwick, "Evolution of Whales," National Geographic, November 2001, p. 68.
161 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Process of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p.329.
162 Ashby L. Camp, "The Overselling of Whale Evolution," Creation Matters, a newsletter published by the Creation Research Society, May/June 1998.
163 Douglas H. Chadwick, "Evolution of Whales," National Geographic, November 2001, p. 73.
164 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 329.
165 G. A. Mchedlidze, General Features of the Paleobiological Evolution of Cetacea, trans. from Russian (Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1986), p. 91.