Project 2238: F. G. Marx, C. Tsai, R. E. Fordyce. 2015. A new Early Oligocene toothed ‘baleen’ whale (Mysticeti: Aetiocetidae) from western North America: one of the oldest and the smallest. Royal Society Open Science. 2 (12):150476.
Specimen: † Fucaia buelli (UWBM:84024)

Abstract

Archaic toothed mysticetes represent the evolutionary transition from raptorial to bulk filter feeding in baleen whales. Aetiocetids, in particular, preserve an intermediate morphological stage in which teeth functioned alongside a precursor of baleen, the hallmark of all modern mysticetes. To date, however, aetiocetids are almost exclusively Late Oligocene and coeval with both other toothed mysticetes and fully fledged filter feeders. By contrast, reports of cetaceans from the Early Oligocene remain rare, leaving the origins of aetiocetids, and thus of baleen, largely in the dark. Here, we report a new aetiocetid, Fucaia buelli, from the earliest Oligocene (ca 33–31 Ma) of western North America. The new material narrows the temporal gap between aetiocetids and the oldest known mysticete, Llanocetus (ca 34 Ma). The specimen preserves abundant morphological detail relating to the phylogenetically informative ear bones (otherwise poorly documented in this family), the hyoid apparatus and much of the (heterodont) dentition. Fucaia comprises some of the smallest known mysticetes, comparable in size with the smallest odontocetes. Based on their phylogenetic relationships and dental and mandibular morphology, including tooth wear patterns, we propose that aetiocetids were suction-assisted raptorial feeders and interpret this strategy as a crucial, intermediary step, enabling the transition from raptorial to filter feeding. Following this line of argument, a combination of raptorial and suction feeding would have been ancestral to all toothed mysticetes, and possibly even baleen whales as a whole.


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Article DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150476

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2238, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2238
This project containsMatrices
  • 52 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 1 Document
  • 1 Taxon
  • 1 Specimen
  • 272 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 19.87M

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Total scored cells: 272
Total media associated with cells: 172
Total labels associated with cell media: 186
Characters
Total characters: 272
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 635
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:247/25
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MorphoBank Project 2238

    Authors' Institutions

    • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

    • University of Otago

    • National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    notes  medialabels
    rules
    Felix Marx
    Project Administrator
    115227200272
    (149, 120, 3)
    31721860


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M23561' (1 Taxon)

    taxon unscored
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    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
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    [1] † Fucaia buelli
    Last Modified in 09/10/15
    014901203172186none


    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views29265
    Project overview2871
    Matrix views1832Matrix landing page (1628 views); Fucaia (204 views);
    Documents list1212
    Media views19659Media search (2813 views); M390797 (342 views); M390787 (429 views); M390819 (304 views); M390829 (303 views); M390786 (304 views); M390836 (300 views); M390790 (365 views); M390810 (302 views); M390830 (297 views); M390806 (331 views); M390834 (282 views); M390825 (299 views); M390818 (340 views); M390816 (356 views); M390833 (276 views); M390813 (334 views); M390793 (429 views); M390832 (288 views); M390823 (303 views); M390831 (286 views); M390788 (369 views); M390792 (332 views); M390812 (346 views); M390799 (336 views); M390822 (370 views); M390814 (319 views); M390804 (297 views); M390824 (312 views); M390794 (327 views); M390821 (321 views); M390802 (309 views); M390827 (296 views); M390820 (327 views); M390811 (319 views); M390835 (304 views); M395328 (310 views); M390795 (321 views); M390796 (316 views); M390826 (296 views); M390789 (312 views); M390800 (335 views); M390808 (338 views); M390807 (346 views); M390798 (302 views); M390815 (319 views); M390791 (364 views); M390809 (331 views); M390803 (316 views); M390817 (329 views); M390805 (345 views); M390828 (276 views); M390801 (336 views);
    Taxon list1616
    Specimen list1387
    Bibliography688




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project268
    Document downloads6Fucaia complete matrix (6 downloads);
    Project downloads238
    Matrix downloads24Fucaia (24 downloads);