Join us for our February Fossil Club Meeting and a presentation by Stephen Godfrey, Curator of Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum
The talk title is: On the Sense of Smell in Fossil and Modern Whales and Dolphins.
Description of the talk:
Ancient archaeocete whales retained a sense of smell (an ability to detect air-borne odors) that they inherited from their terrestrial ancestors. Living baleen and toothed whales (dolphins, sperm whales and their kin) have taken very different evolutionary pathways when it comes to their sense of smell. Baleen whales have retained some ability to detect odors, whereas (as near as we can tell) toothed whales have lost that ability. The sense of smell in baleen whales is thought to still be important in their ability to find food, whereas in dolphins, they replaced their sense of smell with an ability to find food by way of echolocation (their bio-sonar system consisting of clicks and whistles). This picture-show will fully illustrate these remarkable evolutionary transitions by showing both fossil and modern whale skulls.
If you are not yet a member of NHSM or NHSM’s Fossil Club, you can join at our meeting! (NHSM membership is $25 for individuals, $35 for families, Fossil Club membership is an additional $5 for individuals and $10 for families.)
We hope you consider becoming a member of NHSM, please follow this link to join: https://marylandnature.org/support-maryland-nature/.
The Natural History Society of Maryland is a volunteer-led non-profit organization, so the fee you pay will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible.
Thank you for your support!