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"In a whale’s tail you will find vestigial features,
abandoned body parts found in a lot of creatures.
A whale can’t walk but still possesses leg and hip bones.
Paleontologist accounted for these unknowns.
Whales also still have muscles to move external ears,
ones they haven’t had in over 50 million years.
These factors indicate whale ancestors walked on land,
then responded to evolutionary demands.
Environmental change is what drives evolution.
Organisms respond to change through adaptation.
Species adapt slowly through natural selection.
Only the fittest survive or they face extinction.
New organisms aren’t spontaneous creations.
They evolve through one of the forms of speciation.
Slow change over time is called anagenesis.
An isolated group changes through cladogenesis.
As one species slowly transitions to another,
intermediates in between the two species occur.
Distinctly different with common characteristics,
experts predict the physiology of these links.
World scientists dug up evidence for their queries,
contributing to form a full transition series.
Transition series exist for a few living things,
history written in fossils with the clues they bring.
Fossils can tell the story of their ecology,
and divulge details from their time’s climatology.
Fossils occur from specific and rare conditions,
rapid burial with degradation restrictions.
Preservation occurs within amber, ice, and tar,
or in sedimentary rock, like an old sea shore.
It takes expertise, exaction, and algorithms
to align a record for extinct organisms.
For scientists to conclude two species relate,
the vast majority of features must correlate.
At the same time they must be cognizant and cautious,
differences within species are hard to distinguish.
Like males and females can have a slightly different form,
and bodies can change completely from the time they’re born.
Careful reading of the fossil record tells the tale
of how a land dwelling mammal would become a whale."
Copyright 2018 Poetic Empiricist/Jessica DiBacco