Dr. Stephen Godfrey, Curator of Paleontology, Calvert Marine Museum, presents an illustrated lecture, “When Whales Walked the Earth: Fossil Whales and Olfactory Evolution” on Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater, New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Marine science has long assumed that sea creatures like whales have no need of a sense of smell. While this is likely true for some, it is now known not to be the case for extant baleen whales. The discovery of a partial skull of a 50 million-year-old whale sent Dr. Godfrey – one of the foremost researchers on Miocene marine fossils – on an unexpected quest to explain how and why the sense of smell in some whales has evolved but not others.
Dr. Godfrey is the fourth of 12 distinguished speakers scheduled through May 10 – part of the Whaling Museum’s three signature lecture series: the Sailors’ Series, Man and Whales, and the Old Dartmouth Lyceum. Held on Thursday evenings, all programs include a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery followed by the lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater.
Admission: $15 members; $20 non-members. For tickets, call (508) 997-0046 Ext. 100.
(issued February 24, 2012)