Breaching whale observed attempting to bypass amphibian and reptilian evolutionary steps by mimicing bird-like flight behavior.
Researchers studying sperm whale behavior have noted increasing attempts by the whales to mimic bird-like flight behavior while breaching.
If verified, this behavior would represent the first observations of any species of animal attempting to skip one or more steps in the standard evolutionary progression from swimming creatures, to amphibians, to reptiles, to birds.
"What we are seeing is breaching whales flapping their fins wildly, in an obvious attempt to achieve flight", said Prof. Charles Beagle, research team leader with the Fish and Wildlife Service. In one amazing photo (above), a whale was seen contorting its body, clearly forming the shape of a giant hummingbird. "Its fins were flapping so fast, they were a blur", exclaimed Prof. Beagle.
Rapid evolutionary changes have been hypothesized for years, the researchers explained, noting the near total absense of transitional forms of life in the fossil record. "This could be mankind's only chance to actually observe a rapid evolutionary transition of one species into another species", explained Beagle.
An alternative explanation for the odd behavior was offered by Dr. John Morrison of the National Creation Research Foundation. "Even if these whales are indeed attempting to mimic bird-like behavior, how does that in any way change their DNA so that their offspring will carry that behavior to the next level? Massive genetic defects would have to occur, all combining in positive ways to make the animal more bird-like", explained Dr. Morrison.
Prof. Beagle responded to the criticism by noting, "Well, we have birds, don't we? They had to come from someplace, didn't they? And life started in the oceans, didn't it? Case closed".
Click to view image: '8a16424ce62e-flyingwhale.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|