Japanese researchers are studying a bottlenose dolphin that was captured by fishermen alive last month that appears to have an extra set of fins near its tail that could be remains of the species hind legs from millions of years ago. The fishermen caught the dolphin last month and after seeing the extra fins, immediately contacted the Taiji Whaling Museum. The researchers have been studying the dolphin ever since, trying to figure out what caused the extra set of fins to appear on this particular dolphin though they are willing to say that it might’ve just been a freak mutation that caused the dormant genes to reappear on this particular animal. They plan to put the dolphin through DNA tests and X-Rays while they study what the dolphin uses the back fins for.

Fossilized remains of dolphins and other sea bound mammals have shown evidence that they were originally land bound mammals as far back as 50 million years ago before evolving into sea creatures. DNA tests show that they also share the same genetic history as hippos and deer, sharing common ancestors.

“I believe the fins may be remains from the time when dolphins’ ancient ancestors lived on land … this is an unprecedented discovery,” said an advisor at Tokyo’s Institute of Cetacean Research Seiji Osumi.

Dolphin may have ‘remains’ of legs (Yahoo News)

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