Ancient whales walked on four legs and moved like giant otters — seriously

(CNN)The whales we know today look nothing like they did millions of years ago. The 2011 find by Mario Urbina and his international team contained several surprises. “As this is the first four-legged whale skeleton for South America and the whole Pacific Ocean, the discovery in itself was a major surprise,” study co-author Olivier Lambert wrote in an email. Lambert works at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. “We were also surprised with the geological age of the find (42.6 million years ago) and with the preservation state [of] so many bones from most parts of the skeleton, even including a patella (kneecap), some small ankle bones, and the last phalanges with marks of tiny hooves.” This is the …