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A New Middle Eocene Protocetid Whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and Associated Biota from Georgia

Richard C. Hulbert, Jr., Richard M. Petkewich, Gale A. Bishop, David Bukry and David P. Aleshire
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 72, No. 5 (Sep., 1998), pp. 907-927
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1306667
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A New Middle Eocene Protocetid Whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and Associated Biota from Georgia
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Abstract

A shallow-marine fossil biota was recovered from the Blue Bluff unit (formerly part of the McBean Formation) in the Upper Coastal Plain of eastern Georgia. Biochronologically significant mollusks (e.g., Turritella nasuta, Cubitostrea sallaeformis, Pteropsella lapidosa) and calcareous nannoplankton (e.g., Chiasmolithus solitus, Reticulofenestra umbilica, Cribocentrum reticulatum) indicate a latest Lutetian--earliest Bartonian age, or about 40 to 41 Ma. Georgiacetus vogtlensis new genus and species is described from a well-preserved, partial skeleton. Georgiacetus is the oldest known whale with a true pterygoid sinus fossa in its basicranium and a pelvis that did not articulate directly with the sacral vertebrae, two features whose acquisitions were important steps toward adaptation to a fully marine existence. The posterior four cheek teeth of G. vogtlensis from a series of carnassial-like shearing blades. These teeth also bear small, blunt accessory cusps, which are regarded as being homologous with the larger, sharper accessory cusps of basilosaurid cheek teeth.

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