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Ambulocetus natans

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Ambulocetus natans

Ambulocetus natans was an extinct species of mammal that lived during the Eocene period, approximately 49-48 million years ago. The name "Ambulocetus natans" comes from Latin and translates as "walking whale" due to its ability to move both on land and in water.

This mammal is an example of the mesonychians, a group of semi-aquatic carnivores thought to be related to the ancestors of modern whales. Ambulocetus was characterized as a semi-aquatic predator that inhabited the coasts and regions close to bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes.

Ambulocetus had an elongated body, with forelimbs and hindlimbs that allowed it to walk on land, although its specialization was in aquatic life. Its hind limbs, in particular, were adapted like flippers, giving it greater ability to swim efficiently. Although not completely aquatic like modern whales, Ambulocetus could easily dive and move in the water to hunt fish and other aquatic prey.

Its sharp teeth and strong jaw suggest that Ambulocetus was an active predator, and it is believed that it hunted by ambushing its prey in the water. This species was in an intermediate stage in the evolution of mammals towards adaptation to aquatic life, and its existence has been fundamental to understanding the transition from the terrestrial ancestors of whales to their current marine forms.

Approximate measurements of the Ambulocetus:

1:35 scale - 85mm long
1:20 scale - 150 mm long