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An Archaeocete Whale (Cetacea: Archaeoceti) from the Eocene Waihao Greensand, New Zealand

Richard Köhler and R. Ewan Fordyce
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep. 4, 1997), pp. 574-583
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4523838
Page Count: 10
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An Archaeocete Whale (Cetacea: Archaeoceti) from the Eocene Waihao Greensand, New Zealand
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Abstract

An incomplete skull, four vertebrae, two teeth, and other, smaller fragments confirm the early occurrence of dorudontine whales (Cetacea: Archaeoceti: Basilosauridae) in the Southwest Pacific. This material, which is tentatively identified as Zygorhiza sp., (Dorudontinae), derives from the early Bartonian part of the Waihao Greensand, a marine, glauconitic, muddy sandstone. These New Zealand fossils provide one of the oldest records for the Dorudontinae and the oldest reported cetacean for the Southern Hemisphere. Other supposed cetacean records for the Southern Hemisphere are of Priabonian age from Seymour Island, Antarctica. The New Zealand material provides a significant range extension for the Dorudontinae, which previously have been reported from early Lutetian, middle to late Bartonian, and mainly Priabonian strata of the Northern Hemisphere.

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