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Are Maiacetus, Indohyus, and Dorudon missing links?

Published: 27 October 2018 (GMT+10)
I don’t think you ever covered Maiacetus inuus, Indohyus, and can you give more info on Dorudon? Those are the “intermediate forms” that I can’t find info on or can find very little. It would be very much appreciated if you can debunk these “walking whales” or provide more arguments against it. Thank you for your service, Amen.

CMI USA’s Joel Tay responds:

Thank you for writing in to us.

Some evolutionists claim that these creatures are transitional forms of whales. But a closer look at the evidence show that these candidates are not transitional at all. It is just an attempt at massaging the evidence to fit the evolutionary worldview. The evolutionary framework of whale evolution is assumed, then the evidence is fitted in within the framework. Maiacetus and Indohyus are generally acknowledged even by evolutionists themselves to be four-legged creatures as opposed to creatures with flippers and a tail fluke. The creatures that evolutionists have claimed to be intermediaries to whales that have flippers and fluke tails would include candidates such as Rodhocetus, Pakicetus, and Ambulocetus. But we have already shown in Refuting Evolution ch. 5 as more bones were found, these creatures are now known to be terrestrial creatures.



This creature, whose name means ‘mother whale’, is believed to have given birth to its young head-first. This speculation is derived from a fossil specimen of a female that had a fetus that is believed to be near term. This head-first characteristic is common in large land-dwelling mammals in contrast to marine mammals which generally give birth tail-first. Again, there is a lot of speculation here as there are many reasons that would cause a fetus to take on a head-first position. But assuming that it is indeed the case that Maiacetus gave birth to its young head-first, this would actually argue against the claim that this creature is a transitional form. The head-first position suggests land-birth, and even evolutionists agree that this is a four-legged creature and not one with a tail fluke or flippers. As we have pointed out in Rodhocetus and other stories of whale evolution, Rodhocetus lacked tail flukes and flippers, so is no transitional form. So how much less is Maiacetus, since we already know that it was a four-legged creature?



This was a small four-limbed, deer-like creature. Again, no tail fluke or flippers have been found. Some believe that this creature spent a lot of time in water and some evolutionists argue that the ear bones resemble that of whales. Based on this, Dr Thewissen declared that Indohyus was a transitional form between land mammals and whales. But even if the creature spent a lot of time in water, this would not make it transitional to whales. Once again, the evidence is forced into the existing evolutionary framework, and claims are made based on unfounded speculations.

The claim is that with Indohyus’ earbone (auditory bulla), the inner wall of its ear bone is ten times thicker than the outer walls. If true, then this is consistent with what we find in the earbones of whales. However, on page 270 and 273 of Werner’s book, he includes photos of the ear bones of a deer, whale, and Indohyus for readers to examine for themselves. The point Dr Werner makes (and should be obvious to most readers), is that the inner wall and the outer wall of Indohyus’ ear are not significantly thicker from one another, much less ten times the size. But if this is the case, then the case for Indohyus collapses and it is not transitional in any way.


Dorudon is a type of basilosaurid. According to many evolutionary charts, basilosaurids were a precursor to modern whales. They are long serpent-like mammals with tiny appendages that are clearly too small for walking. But even evolutionists have expressed doubts that they are ancestral to modern whales. Refuting Evolution quoted vertebrate paleontologist Barbara Jaffe Stahl (1930–2004):

The serpentine form of the body and the peculiar shape of the cheek teeth make it plain that these archaeocetes [the basilosaurids] could not possibly have been the ancestor of modern whales.

Instead, their appendages are probably used for grasping during copulation. But if these structures were for reproduction, they have nothing to do with the locomotion of the creature, nor are they an evolutionary transition. Besides, even in evolutionary thought, some evolutionists believe that these creatures co-existed with baleen whales. These long, serpent-like creatures are completely adapted to swimming in a marine environment and bear little resemblance to transitional forms trying to find their way into a marine environment.

DNA analysis undermines evolutionary paleontology

Finally, DNA analysis show that the whole paleontological understanding of whale ancestry is wrong. The closest modern land animal match to whales turns out not to be any of those that evolutionists claim are related to whales, but the hippo! And the hippo is by no means transitional and is very different to whales in its physiology. Gingerich himself, (as we have quoted in Refuting Evolution), admits:

“Until now paleontologists thought whales had evolved from mesonychians, an extinct group of land-dwelling carnivores, while molecular scientists studying DNA were convinced they descended from artiodactyls [even-toed ungulates]. ‘The paleontologists, and I am one of them, were wrong,’ Gingerich said.”

This refutes the evolutionary story of whale evolution.

Joel Tay

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