Ancient whale swam hundreds of miles up African river

March 17, 2015 8:40 AM

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A 22-foot beaked whale that apparently took a wrong turn up an African river about 17 million years ago may offer clues to the climate-change forces that shaped human evolution.

Lost for more than 30 years, the fossilized beak and jaw bone help determine that the East African Plateau probably began rising no earlier than 17 million years ago, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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