Project 2655: O. Lambert, M. Martínez-Cáceres, G. Bianucci, C. Di Celma, R. Salas-Gismondi, E. Steurbaut, M. Urbina, C. de Muizon. 2017. Earliest mysticete from the late Eocene of Peru sheds new light on the origin of baleen whales. Current Biology. 27:1-7.
Specimen: † Mystacodon selenensis (unvouchered)
View: dorso-lateral

Abstract

Although combined molecular and morphological analyses point to a late middle Eocene (38–39 million years ago) origin for the clade Neoceti (Odontoceti, echolocating toothed whales plus Mysticeti, baleen whales, and relatives), the oldest known mysticete fossil dates from the latest Eocene (about 34 million years ago) of Antarctica [1, 2]. Considering that the latter is not the most stemward mysticete in recent phylogenies and that Oligocene toothed mysticetes display a broad morphological disparity most likely corresponding to contrasted ecological niches, the origin of mysticetes from a basilosaurid ancestor and its drivers are currently poorly understood [1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Based on an articulated cetacean skeleton from the early late Eocene (Priabonian, around 36.4 million years ago) of the Pisco Basin, Peru, we describe a new archaic tooth-bearing mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis gen. et sp. nov. Being the geologically oldest neocete (crown group cetacean) and the earliest mysticete to branch off described so far, the new taxon is interpreted as morphologically intermediate between basilosaurids and later toothed mysticetes, providing thus crucial information about the anatomy of the skull, forelimb, and innominate at these critical initial stages of mysticete evolution. Major changes in the morphology of the oral apparatus (including tooth wear) and flipper compared to basilosaurids suggest that suction and possibly benthic feeding represented key, early ecological traits accompanying the emergence of modern filter-feeding baleen whales’ ancestors.


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Article DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.026

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2655, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2655
This project containsMatrices
  • 1 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 38 Taxa
  • 2 Specimens
  • 272 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 3 MB

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 7623
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Characters
Total characters: 272
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 634
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:239/33
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MorphoBank Project 2655


    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
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    Olivier Lambert
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 05/12/17
    382127200007623
    (7176, 0, 447)
    00000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M24553' (38 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
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    [1] † Cynthiacetus peruvianus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    2324524504001
    [2] † Simocetus rayi
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    9117717704001
    [3] † Archaeodelphis patrius
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    14512212205001
    [4] Physeter macrocephalus
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    13231229030001
    [5] † Mystacodon selenensis
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    13213813802001
    [6] † Janjucetus hunderi
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    8218418406001
    [7] † Mammalodon colliveri
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    9117417407001
    [8] † Chonecetus goedertorum
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    7319619504001
    [9] † Aetiocetus polydentatus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    9417517503001
    [10] † Aetiocetus cotylalveus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    10116916902001
    [11] † Aetiocetus weltoni
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    7619319303001
    [12] † ChM pv4745
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    12814014004001
    [13] † Llanocetus denticrenatus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    10416416404001
    [14] † ChM pv5720
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    9017917903001
    [15] † Micromysticetus rothauseni
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    182878703001
    [16] † Yamatocetus canaliculatus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    68189189015001
    [17] † Eomysticetus whitmorei
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    78178178016001
    [18] † Morenocetus parvus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    15411411404001
    [19] Balaena mysticetus
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    2250249021001
    [20] Eubalaena spp.
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    0255250022001
    [21] Caperea marginata
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    3252246023001
    [22] † Miocaperea pulchra
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    110143143019001
    [23] † Cetotherium rathkii
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    110145145017001
    [24] † Cetotherium riabinini
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    71186186015001
    [25] † Piscobalaena nana
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    14240239019001
    [26] † Herpetocetus morrowi
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    39215215018001
    [27] † Herpetocetus transatlanticus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    14711711708001
    [28] † Herpetocetus bramblei
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    112143143017001
    [29] † Diorocetus hiatus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    43216216013001
    [30] † Aglaocetus patulus
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    70190188014001
    [31] † Aglaocetus moreni
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    117142142013001
    [32] † Parietobalaena campiniana
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    100156156016001
    [33] † Parietobalaena palmeri
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    45219213014001
    [34] † Pelocetus calvertensis
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    37221221014001
    [35] Eschrichtius robustus
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    1259254017001
    [36] † Megaptera novaeangliae
    Last Modified in 05/12/17
    1258256015001
    [37] Balaenoptera acutorostrata
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    0256255017001
    [38] Balaenoptera physalus
    Last Modified in 04/07/17
    0258256016001


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    Taxon list2677
    Specimen list449
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    Bibliography188




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