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An Evolutionary History of Dolphins

Project Information
Evolutionary Walkthrough

A Fable about how the dolphin became a dolphin.


“WHEE!!” shouted Pat the Pakicetus as he jumped into the water. It was the first day that the air was warm enough for all of the Pakiceti to frolic in the water, instead of just diving in periodically for food and other needs, as they normally did. However, Pat was always in the water. Even if it was below 0, all of the other Pakiceti could expect to find Pat swimming around in the water.

“I don’t get cold, and I’m amazing enough at swimming to not be bothered by that anyway.” Pat had explained to his girlfriend, Ina, the past winter.

“Now, Pat, don’t get a swelled head,” Ina had said. “Or a swelled body for that matter, since it is so cold in there.”

“Don’t you worry, I’ll be okay. Besides, everyone loves me!”

“Well....” Ina didn’t want to hurt Pat’s feelings, but she had heard rumors about other Pakiceti’s jealousy of Pat’s skills. They left it at that.

But now it was spring, and the lakes were filled with frolicking Pakiceti. Once they heard Pat shout, many of them rolled their eyes.

“Look what I can do!” Pat shouted, as he started bouncing on the water with his tail, as though he could walk on it, while flailing his four limbs around like he was dancing. The rest of his kind cheered, but very few did out of actual admiration.

“Thank you, thank you.” Pat bowed as best as one of his species could, which was good enough to tick off a few shady looking Pakiceti. Pat was too busy enjoying all of the attention he was getting to notice those Pakiceti getting out of the lake and walking behind a tree. He then attempted a triple backflip, which had never been done before. Of course, he was able to do it. Ignoring Ina’s warnings, he was getting a very swelled head. However, nobody cheered this time.

Later that night, after everyone else had left, Pat was still enjoying himself in the water. He heard a rustling in some nearby bushes, so he went to go investigate. Another Pakicetus popped out. Being the friendly critter he was, Pat went over.

“Hi!” Pat yelled a little too loudly. “Were you at the lake today?”

“I was for a little bit,” replied the other Pakicetus, “but there was another Pakicetus there who was getting everyone’s attention doing tricks, and I was inspired and went to a nearby lake, which was mostly empty, to practice some tricks.”

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“That was me!” Pat shouted, once more a bit loudly. He was thrilled to have a fan. “My name is Pat. What’s yours?”

“I’m Del. Nice to finally meet you. I’ve been wanting to all winter.” He flicked his tail. Pat had never really had another friend, so he returned the gesture, thinking it was one of friendship.

“Well, I’ve been practicing all winter, and can show you so....” All of a sudden, they were on him.

“We’ve noticed, and we hate you for it!” one of the shady looking Pakiceti from before said, being sure to keep his voice down to avoid attention.

“Yeah,” said another, “why do you get all the attention and skills, and we get none?”

Pat tried to muffle out a cry of help, but he didn’t have time to, as one grabbed his snout and pulled it outwards. Several more sliced at his body in rage. One caught his tail, and split the end of it. Two more attacked his limbs, reducing them to mere bits of what they used to be.

“You like water? We’ll give you water!” Del shouted. They picked him up, walked over to the lake, and threw him as far as they could into it.

Ina was coming back to check on Pat, and she heard the noises. She ran over, just in time to see Pat thrown. She slid into the water quietly so that she couldn’t be noticed, and desperately started searching for Pat.

She was crying when she found him swimming away from a cloud of blood, but Pat’s reaction was quite the opposite. Ever the optimist, Pat found a good use for his now mangled body.

“Isn’t this great?” He asked her. “I can swim without my legs and arms getting in the way!” He popped out of the water, and did his tail dance trick. “Thanks guys!” he shouted, more out of ignorance than gratitude.

In time, Pat found uses for all of his “beat-up” body. His elongated snout was perfect for finding food at the bottom of the lake. His split tail was perfect for swimming around. And, what he thought was the best part, he could swim without his arms nor legs ever getting tired, as he had none. Pat became the first dolphin as we know them today.