The Loh Down On Science

Whale Birth

The birds and the bees... and some very old whales.

You think your generation discovered sex on the beach? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and with a report on the birds and the bees and some old, old whales.

Modern whales like humpbacks or sperm whales have it easy – romping, eating, mating, and birthing their young in the deep blue sea.

But back in the day, their evolutionary ancestors did their business both on land and in the sea. They'd lurch back and forth on four appendages that worked as legs and flippers.

Recently, paleontologists from the University of Michigan unearthed a few 47-million-year-old whale fossils in Pakistan.

The fossils included a male, a female and, for the first time, an unborn fetus. Surprisingly, that fetus was positioned for a head-down delivery – a birthing position more like that of landlubbers than sea- dwellers.

Way back when whales' ancestors ate in the ocean and gave birth on land.

But that's not all, the scientists say – the whales also came ashore to rest and, when the moon hits their eyes like a big pizza pie? They made amore!

And whale songs became: bow chicka chicka bow bow.


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