One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large carnivorous amphibian ("Ambulocetus natans", order "Cetacea") of the Eocene epoch, an early ancestor of today's whales.
- ‘Then paleontologists working in Pakistan found the fossil of a 45-million year old whale named Ambulocetus that looked in life like a furry crocodile.’
- ‘Paleontologists have found complete skeletons of creatures such as the 45 million year old Ambulocetus.’
- ‘In 1995 yet a third transitional creature was discovered, Dalanistes, with shorter legs than Ambulocetus, webbed feet, a longer tail, and a much larger and more whalelike skull.’
- ‘Even more disturbing is the fact that fossils of Ambulocetus were found in strata at or above the stratigraphic levels where whale fossils were found.’
Modern Latin, from Latin ambulare ‘to walk’ + cetus ‘whale’.
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