Ambulocetus, a bizarre beast. He is a predator.
— Allen, describing Ambulocetus

Ambulocetus ("Walking Whale") was a bizarre, prehistoric whale-like beast with crocodile-like traits that existed in the Early Eocene Period.



Ambulocetus lived in the Seas and Lakes of the Early Eocene period over 50 million years ago.


Ambulocetus was a three–meter–long carnivore that waddle awkwardly. Although their ancestors hunted on land, Ambulocetus evolved to be far more at home in the water. In fact, their descendants took this water life to an even greater extreme.

Although Ambulocetus may look a bit like a kind of mammalian crocodile, they were actually the ancestor of the whales. Their body shape itself is the very earliest form of whales. Hence their name, "Ambulocetus", means "Walking Whale".

Their styles of swimming already had the appearance of dolphins and whales – when they swam, their bodies moved up and down, as opposed to side to side like the fishes or crocodiles they shared their waters with.


These creatures were arguably the most powerful predators in their entire territories. They often prepared ambushes near the shores of lakes, rivers, and ocean coasts. Despite that these creatures didn't possess ears of any kind, Ambulocetus listened for incoming prey by placing their jaws directly on the ground and detecting vibrations. It was the same mechanism that allowed them to hear underwater as well. Their killing techniques were simple, similar to a crocodiles: their vise-like jaws held the struggling prey until it drowned.