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Fossil Marine Mammals of Oregon

Clayton E. Ray
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Dec., 1976), pp. 420-436
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2412515
Page Count: 17
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Fossil Marine Mammals of Oregon
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Abstract

Although fossil remains of marine mammals were reported from western Oregon as early as 1849, collections and knowledge of them have grown slowly and haltingly until recently. Milestones have been discovery and description of the specimens on which are based the pinnipeds Pontolis magnus (True) 1905 and Desmatophoca oregonensis Condon 1906, the desmostylian Desmostylus cymatius Hannibal 1922, and the cetaceans Cophocetus oregonensis Packard and Kellogg 1934 and Aetiocetus cotylalveus Emlong 1966. Beginning in 1956 and continuing to the present Douglas Emlong of Lincoln City, Oregon, has amassed an unparalleled collection of fossil marine mammals, including approximately 1000 specimens from coastal Oregon, of which some 85 are desmostylians, 360 are pinnipeds, 3 are fissipeds, and the remainder cetaceans. Specimens are known from the Oligocene to the lower Pleistocene; from the Alsea, Yaquina, Nye, Astoria, Empire, Port Orford, and Elk River Formations. As specimens continue to be prepared and studied the Emlong Collection will yield many of the answers to problems of origin, evolution, and interrelationships of many lineages of marine mammals, and will contribute significantly toward establishment of fossil marine mammals as a powerful tool in geologic correlation over long distances.

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