Project 2225: F. G. Marx, M. E. J. Bosselaers, S. Louwye. 2016. A new species of Metopocetus (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Cetotheriidae) from the Late Miocene of the Netherlands. PeerJ. 4:4:e1572.
Specimen: † Metopocetus hunteri (NMR:9991-07729)

Abstract

The family Cetotheriidae has played a major role in recent discussions of baleen whale phylogenetics. Within this group, the enigmatic, monotypic Metopocetus durinasus has been interpreted as transitional between herpetocetines and other members of the family, but so far has been restricted to a single, fragmentary cranium of uncertain provenance and age. Here, we expand the genus and shed new light on its phylogenetic affinities and functional morphology by describing Metopocetus hunteri sp. nov. from the Late Miocene of the Netherlands. Unlike the holotype of M. durinasus, the material described here is confidently dated and preserves both the tympanic bulla and additional details of the basicranium. M. hunteri closely resembles M. durinasus, differing primarily in its somewhat less distally expanded compound posterior process of the tympanoperiotic. Both species are characterised by the development of an unusually large fossa on the ventral surface of the paroccipital process, which extends anteriorly on to the compound posterior process and completely floors the facial sulcus. In life, this enlarged fossa may have housed the posterior sinus and/or the articulation of the stylohyal. Like other cetotheriids, Metopocetus also bears a well-developed, posteriorly-pointing dorsal infraorbital foramen near the base of the ascending process of the maxilla, the precise function of which remains unclear.


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Article DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1572

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2225, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2225
This project containsMatrices
  • 95 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 1 Document
  • 3 Taxa
  • 4 Specimens
  • 272 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 107 MB

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Total scored cells: 819
Total media associated with cells: 372
Total labels associated with cell media: 400
Characters
Total characters: 272
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 634
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Total unordered/ordered characters:247/25
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MorphoBank Project 2225


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    Felix Marx
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 05/16/16
    3495272021100819
    (320, 483, 16)
    003724000
    Seth Kaufman
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    Last logged in 05/16/16
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    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M23525' (3 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
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    [1] † Metopocetus hunteri
    Last Modified in 09/16/15
    0109015861321442
    [2] † Metopocetus vandelli
    Last Modified in 09/24/15
    0107016151241322
    [3] † Aulocetus latus
    Last Modified in 09/24/15
    0104016451161242


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