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A new middle eocene whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia

Journal of Paleontology

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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 sellaeformis, 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 form 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.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A new middle eocene whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia
Series title:
Journal of Paleontology
Volume
72
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Paleontology
First page:
907
Last page:
927