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STL Science Center
06 May 2015
How to Amble
Ambulocetus in the natural history museum in Pisa, Italy
Locomotion is an interesting topic, and one that a lot of people really love to study. I do not study locomotion all that much, but I cannot say that I am not very interested in how things get from point A to point B. The ways in which Ambulocetus did this are somewhat varied, as we would expect. Walking on land the animal was most likely a little slow and cumbersome, but able to walk with enough grace that it was still adapted enough to walk on terra firma. The swimming portion of its life was probably a little more tail-powered, but it also appears that some may think that it doggy-paddled a little bit to help itself move. Popular images, however, always use the tail locomotion story when describing Ambulocetus. This innovative way to move around the waterways, it can be argued, was the initial use of such methods prior to the advent of the actual whale's tail and true whale locomotion.