Why do baby stingrays look like kitten-frogs in sacks?
Maria Borges photographed by by Rui Aguiar for the cover of Vogue Portugal May 2014
— (via flowerspower)
One of these things is not like the other…
First row: Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) skeleton
Second row: Hooded seal (Cystopkora cristata) skeleton
Third row: Dugong (Dugong dugon) skeleton, Brazilian sea lion (Otaria flavescens) skeleton.
*Skulls depicted are of species in the same genus as the skeleton.
Sirenia (manatees, dugongs, and sea cows) and Pinnipedia (the seals, walruses, and sea lions) are often seen as very similar, but they came from very different lineages.
While both came from land mammals (just like all sea mammals), the pinnipeds evolved from a bear-like ancestor, who returned to the sea around 28 MYA. They’re Caniformidae, or dog-like Carnivora.
Vergleicheende Osteologie. Edward D’alton, 1821.
Check out these photos taken by Bryan Thomas for The Chronicle from a wonderful shoot on Nell Irvin Painter. Dr. Painter is a former star historian and retired professor from Princeton University who has put down her pen and taken up a paintbrush.