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Comparing Structures
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Manchester Museum
The University of Manchester,
Oxford Road
Manchester, Lancashire
M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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Comparing Structures

Actually, very dissimilar. They both serve to help the animal glide through the water, and they were both originally forearms (many millions of years ago), but the bone layouts are very different. The reason for this? Penguins evolved from regular birds so their flippers bear more than passing resemblance to the average bird wing. Whales and dolphins on the other hand are descended from land mammals which makes their flippers look very hand-like!
Actually, very dissimilar. They both serve to help the animal glide through the water, and they were both originally forearms (many millions of years ago), but the bone layouts are very different.  The reason for this?  Penguins evolved from regular birds so their flippers bear more than passing resemblance to the average bird wing.  Whales and dolphins on the other hand are descended from land mammals which makes their flippers look very hand-like!
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