Marine evolution: Skull array

Neil Kelley, Smithsonian Institution
January 28, 2015
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Neil Kelley, Smithsonian Institution

These skulls from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s collections represent a range of marine mammals and reptile species, including dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, sea cows and walruses. The research team used a novel, quantitative approach to compare dietary data of living marine species with measurements of their skulls and teeth and found that distantly related animals with shared diets evolved similar adaptations to successfully live in the sea. (Photo by Neil Kelley / Smithsonian Institution)