Humpback Whales - Good Luck Minis®
The history of whales goes back at least 55 million years, to the period after the dinosaurs went extinct. With so many massive creatures now gone, there were many ecological niches to be filled. The Whale family tree is one of the strangest of them all, including hippos and other semiaquatic creatures. It’s thought the ancestors of whales first developed longer tails and wider feet to help them swim. Then they became accustomed to saltwater and their eyes and nasal passages moved further from their mouths. Tail flukes and complete loss of back legs guaranteed the ancestors would be powerful swimmers. Those nasal passages eventually positioned themselves as blowholes, and baleen for food filtering was a more recent addition. By about 35 million years ago, all of these features were present in the fossil record, and the ancestor of all modern whales appeared. From there, variations and adaptations in size and shape created the dozens of species that exist today, including the Humpback Whale.