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Ambulocetus is an early cetacean that can walk as well as swim. Having the appearance of a three-metre long mammalian crocodile, it was clearly amphibious, as its back legs are better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, and it probably swam by undulating its back vertically, as otters, seals and whales do. It has been speculated that Ambulocetids hunted like crocodiles, lurking in the shallows to snatch unsuspecting prey. Chemical analysis of its teeth shows that it was able to move between salt and fresh water.

Ambulocetus did not have external ears. To detect prey on land, they may have lowered their heads to the ground and felt for vibrations.

The reason why scientists consider Ambulocetus to be an early whale is that it shares underwater adaptations with them: it had an adaptation in the nose that enabled it to swallow underwater, and it shared ear structure with whales, enabling it to hear well underwater. In addition, its teeth are similar to those of cetaceans.

Originally Posted by Raptorial of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

The creatures resting on the bank are quite unusual, looking like furry crocodiles.

The ambulocetus may look like a furred crocodile, but it is in fact a primitve limbed whale. These unusual cetaceans haunt the coastal waters and forest waterways. Mysterious as they are unusual, ambulocetus are rarely seen.

Large animal
Hit Dice 3d8+21 (34 hp)
Initiative +2 (+2 Dexterity)
Speed 15 ft. (3 squares), Swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class 13 (-1 size, +2 Dexterity, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple +2/+14
Attack Bite +9 melee (1d8 +8)
Full Attack Bite +9 melee (1d8 +8)
Space/Reach 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks Improved grab
Special Qualities Low-Light Vision
Saves Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +4
Abilities Strength 26, Dexterity 15, Constitution 25, Intelligence 2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 9
Skills Hide +5, Listen +3, Move Silently +9, Spot +4
Feats lightning reflexes, Stealthy
Environment Warm coast or forest rivers
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 3
Treasure None
Alignment Always neutral
Advancement 4-6 HD (Large); 7-9 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment -


An ambulocetus will bite an opponent and attempt to drown it.

Improved Grab (Ex) If an ambulocetus bites an opponent, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. No initial touch attack is required. Improved grab works only against opponents that are Medium or smaller. The ambulocetus may conduct the grapple normally, or use its bite to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on grapple checks, but is not considered grappled itself; it doesn't lose its Dexterity bonus to AC, still threatens an area, and can use its remaining attacks against other opponents. Each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals bite damage. When the ambulocetus gets a hold after an improved grab attack, it pulls the opponent into its space. This act does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The ambulocetus can even move, along with the opponent, if it can drag its weight.

Hold Breath (Ex) An ambulocetus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 7 x its Constitution modifier.

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