If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Earliest Known Member of the Rorqual: Gray Whale Clade (Mammalia, Cetacea)

Alton C. Dooley, Jr., Nicholas C. Fraser and Zhe-Xi Luo
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jul. 11, 2004), pp. 453-463
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4524731
Page Count: 11
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Earliest Known Member of the Rorqual: Gray Whale Clade (Mammalia, Cetacea)
Preview not available

Abstract

Eobalaenoptera harrisoni, gen. et sp. nov., is described from a partial skeleton collected from the middle Miocene Calvert Formation of Virginia. Characteristics of this taxon, particularly of the petrosal, indicate that the new whale is a member of the clade that includes the Balaenopteridae (rorquals) and Eschrichtidae (gray whales) to the exclusion of "cetotheres" and the Balaenidae (right whales). Some of the probable synapomorphies of this clade include an elongate pars cochlearis, a tubular internal auditory meatus, the greater petrosal nerve foramen on the tympanic side of the petrosal, the stylomastoid fossa extending onto the posterior process of the petrosal, no medial groove on the pars cochlearis, four digits on each forelimb, depressed supraorbital processes, and ascending processes of maxillae extending onto the vertex. The approximate 14-million-year age of the specimen makes it the oldest known member of the clade by some 3 to 5 million years, and extends the fossil record of this clade closer to the divergence time estimated by some recent molecular studies.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
453
    453
  • Thumbnail: Page 
454
    454
  • Thumbnail: Page 
455
    455
  • Thumbnail: Page 
456
    456
  • Thumbnail: Page 
457
    457
  • Thumbnail: Page 
458
    458
  • Thumbnail: Page 
459
    459
  • Thumbnail: Page 
460
    460
  • Thumbnail: Page 
461
    461
  • Thumbnail: Page 
462
    462
  • Thumbnail: Page 
463
    463