Project 2044: Fordyce, R.E., Marx, F.G. 2018. Gigantism precedes filter feeding in baleen whale evolution. Current Biology. 28:1670-1676.e2.
Specimen: † Llanocetus denticrenatus (USNM:183022)
View: anterolateral

Abstract

Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are the largest animals on Earth, thanks to their ability to filter feed huge volumes of small prey from seawater. Mysticetes appeared during the Late Eocene, but evidence of their early evolution remains both sparse and controversial, with several models competing to explain the origin of baleen-based bulk feeding. Here, we describe a virtually complete skull of Llanocetus denticrenatus, the second-oldest (ca 34 Ma) mysticete known. The new material represents the same individual as the type and only specimen, a fragmentary mandible. Phylogenetic analysis groups Llanocetus with the oldest mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis, into the basal family Llanocetidae. Llanocetus is gigantic (body length ca 8 m) compared to other early mysticetes. The broad rostrum has sharp, widely-spaced teeth with marked dental abrasion and attrition suggesting biting and occlusal shearing. As in extant mysticetes, the palate bears many sulci, commonly interpreted as osteological correlates of baleen. Unexpectedly, these sulci converge on the upper alveoli, suggesting a peri-dental blood supply to well-developed gums, rather than to inter-alveolar racks of baleen. We interpret Llanocetus as a raptorial or suction feeder, revealing that whales evolved gigantism well before the emergence of filter feeding. Rather than driving the origin of mysticetes, baleen and filtering likely only arose following an initial phase of suction-assisted raptorial feeding. This scenario strikingly differs from that proposed for odontocetes, whose defining adaptation ? echolocation ? was present even in their earliest representatives.


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Article DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.027

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2044, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2044
This project containsMatrices
  • 5617 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 3 Documents
  • 106 Taxa
  • 294 Specimens
  • 275 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 2048 MB

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 29213
Total media associated with cells: 17480
Total labels associated with cell media: 18229
Characters
Total characters: 275
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 645
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Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:237/38
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MorphoBank Project 2044


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    Felix Marx
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 06/05/18
    1062945617532752190029213
    (16140, 11841, 1232)
    3714849182290
    Seth Kaufman
    Full membership
    Last logged in 11/22/17
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    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M3690' (106 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
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    [1] † Zygorhiza kochii
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    025001873133322
    [2] † Albertocetus meffordorum
    Last Modified in 12/04/17
    0188075122752802
    [3] † Archaeodelphis patrius
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0102016491191262
    [4] † Olympicetus avitus
    Last Modified in 11/07/17
    0137012991521592
    [5] † Waipatia maerewhenua
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0217045132472612
    [6] Physeter macrocephalus
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    0227211392632762
    [7] † Aetiocetus cotylalveus
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0164010921972122
    [8] † Aetiocetus polydentatus
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0175229731922062
    [9] † Aetiocetus weltoni
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    018808432202302
    [10] † Aglaocetus moreni
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    01400123121561582
    [11] † Aglaocetus patulus
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0187077132242352
    [12] † Archaebalaenoptera castriarquati
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0980160171191222
    [13] † Aulocetus latus
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    099017061131182
    [14] † Balaena montalionis
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    07101861886902
    [15] Balaena mysticetus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025302233093172
    [16] † Balaena ricei
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0960161181161222
    [17] † Balaenella brachyrhynus
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    01340121201711752
    [18] Balaenoptera acutorostrata
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025900172843012
    [19] † Balaenoptera bertae
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0700198794992
    [20] Balaenoptera bonaerensis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025405162993122
    [21] Balaenoptera borealis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025801172792982
    [22] Balaenoptera musculus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025603172953102
    [23] Balaenoptera omurai
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0252246716002
    [24] Balaenoptera physalus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025901172913102
    [25] † Balaenoptera portisi
    Last Modified in 06/16/15
    0180083122272382
    [26] † Balaenoptera ryani
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    081791905112
    [27] † Balaenoptera siberi
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01580103161841902
    [28] † Balaenula astensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01460110191881882
    [29] † Balaenula sp.
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01250132181491542
    [30] † Brandtocetus chongulek
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0122014861511652
    [31] Caperea marginata
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025203263593762
    [32] † Cephalotropis coronatus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    013813612512112
    [33] † Cetotherium megalophysum
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    011711414217002
    [34] † Cetotherium rathkii
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01390118181651702
    [35] † Cetotherium riabinini
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0185073172152202
    [36] † Chonecetus sookensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0790194293992
    [37] † Coronodon havensteini
    Last Modified in 08/25/17
    020107052692772
    [38] † Diorocetus chichibuensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0176086132102132
    [39] † Diorocetus hiatus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0213049132632792
    [40] † Diorocetus shobarensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01270136131601642
    [41] † Diunatans luctoretemergo
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0123014941491592
    [42] † Eomysticetus whitmorei
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0181079152142212
    [43] † Eschrichtioides gastaldii
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01440113181701742
    [44] Eschrichtius robustus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    026300173203342
    [45] † Eubalaena ianitrix
    Last Modified in 11/07/17
    0690200693952
    [46] † Eubalaena shinshuensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    05502021877772
    [47] Eubalaena spp.
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    025800234034182
    [48] † Fragilicetus velponi
    Last Modified in 11/02/16
    08711854991072
    [49] † Fucaia buelli
    Last Modified in 08/03/15
    0148012431751832
    [50] † Fucaia goedertorum
    Last Modified in 12/16/15
    019207942352402
    [51] † Gricetoides aurorae
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    08201921961052
    [52] † Herentalia nigra
    Last Modified in 02/08/16
    0678201772772
    [53] † Herpetocetus bramblei
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01450113171811992
    [54] † Herpetocetus morrowi
    Last Modified in 02/17/16
    0217041193293472
    [55] † Herpetocetus sp.
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0640204778812
    [56] † Herpetocetus transatlanticus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0116015271531712
    [57] † Horopeta umarere
    Last Modified in 03/29/16
    01180145121391402
    [58] † Incakujira anillodefuego
    Last Modified in 10/02/16
    0203358162452492
    [59] † Isanacetus laticephalus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0197064152442512
    [60] † Janjucetus hunderi
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    018108861912012
    [61] † Joumocetus shimizui
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01160144151361412
    [62] † Kurdalagonus mchedlidzei
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01290130161571672
    [63] † Llanocetus denticrenatus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    017909152252322
    [64] † Mammalodon colliveri
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    017509372062192
    [65] † Mammalodon hakataramea
    Last Modified in 09/11/15
    0370239041392
    [66] † Matapanui waihao
    Last Modified in 08/25/17
    01210139151471532
    [67] † Mauicetus parki
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0183147801337402
    [68] † Megaptera hubachi
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    0183075172202282
    [69] † Megaptera miocaena
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    01500107181922092
    [70] Megaptera novaeangliae
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    026101153293462
    [71] † Metopocetus durinasus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    081018861031142
    [72] † Metopocetus hunteri
    Last Modified in 03/29/16
    0107016271321442
    [73] † Metopocetus vandelli
    Last Modified in 12/15/17
    0101016961221292
    [74] † Micromysticetus rothauseni
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    090018321051142
    [75] † Miocaperea pulchra
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01370118211651732
    [76] † Morawanocetus yabukii
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    014064130592942
    [77] † Morenocetus parvus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0113015751441502
    [78] † Mystacodon selenensis
    Last Modified in 08/25/17
    0127914351351392
    [79] † Nannocetus eremus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    089018421131232
    [80] † NMNS PV19540
    Last Modified in 12/29/16
    01681669018002
    [81] † NMNZ MM001630
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01951836218002
    [82] † OCPC 1178
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    091891822002
    [83] † OU 22224
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01071041662002
    [84] † OU 22705
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    015114911014002
    [85] † OU GS10897
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    056552173002
    [86] † Parabalaenoptera baulinensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0162098151901932
    [87] † Parietobalaena campiniana
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01530108141911932
    [88] † Parietobalaena palmeri
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0217050132802892
    [89] † Parietobalaena sp.
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01540106151791882
    [90] † Parietobalaena yamaokai
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0174091132122182
    [91] † Pelocetus calvertensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0220041142522552
    [92] † Peripolocetus vexillifer
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    060582141112
    [93] † Pinocetus polonicus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01150148121231252
    [94] † Piscobalaena nana
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0242015193003092
    [95] † Plesiobalaenoptera quarantellii
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01370121171481572
    [96] † Thinocetus arthritus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01430120121701762
    [97] † Tiphyocetus temblorensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0710204081842
    [98] † Titanocetus sammarinensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    01390125111561602
    [99] † Tiucetus rosae
    Last Modified in 09/15/17
    0139013511731772
    [100] † Tohoraata raekohao
    Last Modified in 03/31/16
    0113016021261332
    [101] † Tokarahia kauaeroa
    Last Modified in 03/31/16
    01490113131721762
    [102] † Uranocetus gramensis
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0173086161911962
    [103] † Waharoa ruwhenua
    Last Modified in 11/07/16
    0198062173093132
    [104] † Whakakai waipata
    Last Modified in 01/26/17
    0800194195992
    [105] † Yamatocetus canaliculatus
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    0191070142182202
    [106] † ZMT 67
    Last Modified in 06/17/15
    014013912213002


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    Total project views12351
    Project overview374
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    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project35
    Matrix downloads14Mysticetes mark II (14 downloads);
    Document downloads3Palatal sulci and body size optimisation (1 download); Institutional abbreviations (1 download); Supplementary Nexus file (1 download);
    Project downloads18