It's all in the hips | Science Codex

September 8, 2014 8:02 PM

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Both whales and dolphins have pelvic (hip) bones, evolutionary remnants from when their ancestors walked on land more than 40 million years ago. Common wisdom has long held that those bones are simply vestigial, slowly withering away like tailbones on humans.

New research from USC and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) flies directly in the face of that assumption, finding that not only do those pelvic bones serve a purpose – but their size and possibly shape are influenced by the forces of sexual selection.

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