Whales Slurp Their Way to Filter Feeding
Suction feeding fossils paved the way for the evolution of baleen
But a new fossil of a small toothed whale may provide part of the solution to that puzzle. While a fellow with the National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan, and studying with colleagues from Otago University in New Zealand, Dr. Felix Marx found signs in a whale fossil of suction feeding - a style of feeding that involves slurping in prey.
He suggests from this, the gradual evolution of mechanisms to trap food - ultimately baleen - would have been a natural shift, aimed at capturing smaller and smaller prey.