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Fin whale

Fin whales return to old feeding grounds in Southern Ocean

An exciting discovery by researchers in the waters around Antarctica suggest that fin whales are...
Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...

Another fossil gives early clue to evolution of baleen whales

Examination of an ancient fossil has given scientists another insight into the evolution of baleen whales such as humpback or blue whales.

The fossil, named Coronodon havensteini, was found near the Wando River in South Carolina and lived around 30 million years ago. One of the great mysteries of whale evolution is how baleen whales evolve from originally having teeth and at what point did these whales lose their teeth? This whale has a wide snout and short jaw bones that are characteristics of a baleen whale. However, what is intriguing is that it had teeth which appear to have been used in a sieve-like way to catch small prey and filter out the water. But, at the same time, the whale would also have been able to take larger prey using the teeth in a more conventional way.

The latest discovery follows that of possibly the oldest relative of baleen whales found in Peru that lived 36 million years ago which also showed characteristics of having teeth but using suction to catch food.

Full report:
The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales
Jonathan H. Geisler, Robert W. Boessenecker, Mace Brown, Brian L. Beatty
Current Biology