Did whales have legs?
Whales. The big beautiful creatures that roam our oceans with their sometimes monster-sized tails and fins.
But if you’re reading this you might’ve heard that whales once had legs? What?
Firstly, what makes a whale a whale?
A whale is a mammal, in the same group as elephants and sea lions.
Whales come from the order Cetacea.
They’re closely related to dolphins and porpoises.
They have a big head, a streamlined body, and two horizontal flippers which can be folded under the body.
Their tail also has two parts, a lower lobe and an upper lobe with large skin flaps between them.
They move up and down to propel themselves through the water.
Whales can be black, grey, white, or even pink.
They range in size from just a few feet long to over 90 feet!
The biggest whales are the baleen whales.
They have baleen plates which they sieve small sea creatures from the water—and the biggest baleen whale is the blue whale, at 30 meters long!
So they have all these adaptations for living in the ocean, but what about their legs?
What About Whale Legs?
Well, whales don’t have them anymore!
They evolved from land-based animals and at one point they did have legs, but over time they became more and more adapted to life in the ocean.
Some scientists think that they lost their legs because they were no longer needed—whales probably didn’t need to move around on land, and their limbs became smaller as they adapted to life at sea.
Others think that it was because of changes in the spine that could have made it difficult for them to move around on land.
Either way, whales now live completely in the water and don’t need legs!
So there you have it—whales used to have legs, but over time they evolved to become the amazing creatures we know and love today!
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