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This profile was last updated on 4/7/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Hans Thewissen

Wrong Dr. Hans Thewissen?

Ingalls-Brown Professor of Anatom...

Local Address: Ohio, United States
Northeast Ohio Medical University
 
Background

Employment History

Education

  • Ph.D.
165 Total References
Web References
Evolution: The Grand Experiment-Official Site | Whale Evolution
www.thegrandexperiment.com, 7 April 2014 [cached]
Dr. Hans Thewissen, Professor of Anatomy at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), is a whale evolution expert. He is famous for discovering the walking whale Ambulocetus and a nearly complete skeleton of the walking whale Pakicetus (shown in the picture above).
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It appeared that Thewissen had added whale parts (in this case a blowhole) to the areas where he had no fossil evidence, just as his former professor had done. When Dr. Werner began questioning Dr. Thewissen about the shape of the skull and missing fossil parts, Thewissen retracted the entire blowhole idea even though he had supplied the world's top museums with skeletons having blowholes.
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Dr. Thewissen had reported seven other whale characters of Ambulocetus, but all of these, according to Dr. Werner, are problematic.
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"Dr. Thewissen said that the cheekbone of Ambulocetus was 'reduced' as in modern whales and dolphins; but, in fact, the cheekbone of Ambulocetus is larger than the cheekbone of a horse.
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Finally, according to Dr. Werner, Dr. Thewissen also retracted his statement that Ambulocetus had a key feature, a whale-like ear bone called a sigmoid process.
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Surprisingly, in our interview, Dr. Thewissen changed his position and suggested that the ear bone of Ambulocetus looked more like a mole rat ear bone.
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However, Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo from the Carnegie Museum and Dr. Thewissen from NEOMED called the sigmoid process "questionable" and "equivocal."
In the News
news.beyondgenes.com, 28 Nov 2008 [cached]
"What we think happened is that the ancestors of both Indohyus and whales were animals that looked like a tiny deer," says Hans Thewissen, professor of anatomy at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, who led the study, published in Nature. The modern creature that most resembles Indohyus, however, is the African mousedeer (or chevrotain), which lives on the forest floor but scurries into the water to take cover from predators.
GONE SWIMMING: Indohyus likely spent most of its time wading in shallow water, as in this artist's depiction, perhaps coming to shore to feed on plants. Similarly, Thewissen says, the common ancestor of whales and Indohyus may have been a herbivore (plant-eater) that took to water to hide out, but eventually switched to a swimming, meat-eating lifestyle, which it passed down to modern cetaceans.
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Whatever its relationship with whales, Indohyus was probably not a direct predecessor of them, Thewissen says, because the specimen, unearthed 30 years ago in Kashmir, dates to roughly two million years after the earliest known cetacean fossils.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2007) , ...
www.sciencedaily.com, 1 Jan 2007 [cached]
ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2007) , Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., Professor of the Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), has announced the discovery of the missing link between whales and their four-footed ancestors.
See also: Plants & Animals
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Scientists since Darwin have known that whales are mammals whose ancestors walked on land, and in the past 15 years, researchers led by Dr. Thewissen have identified a series of intermediate fossils documenting whale's dramatic evolutionary transition from land to sea.But one step was missing: The identity of the land ancestors of whales.
Now Dr. Thewissen and colleagues discovered of the skeleton of Indohyus, an approximately 48-million-year-old even-toed ungulate from the Kashmir region of India, as the closest known fossil relative of whales.Dr. Thewissen's team studied a layer of mudstone with hundreds of bones of Indohyus, a fox-sized mammal that looked something like a miniature deer.
Dr. Thewissen and colleagues report key similarities between whales and Indohyus in the skull and ear that show their close family relationship.
Thewissen and colleagues also explored how Indohyus lived, and came up with some surprising results.
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According to Dr. Thewissen, "Clearly, this is not the case, Indohyus is a plant-eater, and already is aquatic.Apparently the dietary shift to hunting animals (as modern whales do) came later than the habitat shift to the water."
Although it may seem strange to think of a tiny, deer-like animal living in water, one modern mousedeer offers something of an analogue to the ancient Indohyus, even though it is not closely related to whales: The African Mousedeer (also called Chevrotain) is known to jump in water when in danger, and move around at the bottom (for a movie showing this go to YouTube and watch ,Eagle vs.Water Chevrotain').
Whale evolution is one of the best documented examples of mammal evolution, and Dr. Thewissen's discovery adds a significant new piece to the puzzle.
"Not much was known about the earliest whales, until the early nineties," Dr. Thewissen said."But then, a number of discoveries came in quick succession."
The article documenting Dr. Thewissen's new discovery, titled Whales originated from Aquatic Artiodactyls in the Eocene of India, was published in the November issue of Nature.
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The research by Dr. Thewissen and his team was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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Researchers Discover Clues To Whale Evolution (May 10, 2002) , A team of international scientists, including Hans Thewissen, an anatomist and paleontologist at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM), has discovered that the inner ear of ... > read more
ScienceDaily: How Ancient Whales Lost Their Legs, Got Sleek And Conquered The Oceans
www.sciencedaily.com, 23 May 2006 [cached]
J.G.M. 'Hans' Thewissen, Ph.D., a member of the department of anatomy at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio, holds a two-month old fetus of a spotted dolphin.A reconstruction of the fossil whale Kutchicetus, which lived about 45 million years ago in India, is behind him. (Credit: Carole Harwood/NEOUCOM)
An international group of scientists led by Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, has used developmental data from contemporary spotted dolphins and fossils of ancient whales to try to pinpoint the genetic changes that could have caused whales, dolphins and porpoises to lose their hind limbs.
More than 50 million years ago the ancestors of whales and dolphins were four-footed land animals, not unlike large dogs.
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"By integrating data from fossils with developmental data from embryonic dolphins, we were able to trace these genetic changes to the point in time when they happened," Thewissen said.
"Studies on swimming in mammals show that a sleek body is necessary for efficient swimming, because projecting organs such as rudimentary hind limbs cause a lot of drag, and slow a swimmer down," said Thewissen, who spends about a month every year in Pakistan and India collecting fossils that document the land-to-water transition of whales.
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Researchers Discover Clues To Whale Evolution (May 10, 2002) -- A team of international scientists, including Hans Thewissen, an anatomist and paleontologist at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM), has discovered that the inner ear of ... > full story
A NEOMED scientist, Dr. Hans ...
www.crainscleveland.com, 13 May 2013 [cached]
A NEOMED scientist, Dr. Hans Thewissen, discovered the whale's remains in 1993 in Pakistan.
Nate is estimated to be at least 48 million years old. He's a Pisces. He weighs a few tons, but is on a diet (or so the university says). His favorite foods are extinct animals of prey and krill.
University officials said Nate will make regular appearances on campus. He will help roll out the university's 40th anniversary celebration and participate in the unveiling of several campus expansion projects.
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