The story of whale evolution is amazing. It’s a story of how small, terrestrial mammals living in and around what is now Pakistan became the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth. Ambulocetus is an integral part of this story.
Ambulocetus, or the “walking whale,” was a strange-looking 10-foot-long cetacean from the Eocene Epoch some 45 million years ago that could both walk on land and swim proficiently.
Ambulocetus is a transitional form, or what some people call a “missing link.” This amphibious mammal connects the more distant ancestors of whales like the mostly terrestrial Pakicetus with more recent fully aquatic relatives like the humongous basilosaurids.