Tuesday 7 October 2014

A new species of Dolphin from the Early Miocene of Peru.

The Squalodelphinidae are a small group of small to medium-sized Toothed Whales known from the Miocene of Europe and North and South America. They are thought to be related to the modern Asian River Dolphin, Platanista gangetica, which lacks any close living relatives. The group is not well understood, with most described specimens being fragmentary in nature.

In a paper published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on 9 September 2014, Oliver Lambert of the Institut royal des Sciences naturelles deBelgique, Giovanni Bianucci of the Dipartimentodi Scienzedella Terra at the Università di Pisa and Mario Urbina of the Departamentode Paleontología de Vertebrados at the Museode Historia Natural in Lima, describe a new species of Squalodelphinid from three skulls and some fragmentary post-cranial material from the Chilcatay Formation in the Pisco-Ica Basin in southwest Peru.

The new species is named Huaridelphis raimondii, where ‘Hauri’ refers to the ancient Hauri people of the south-central Andes and coastal Peru, ‘delphis’ is Latin for Dolphin and ‘raimondii’ honours Antonio Raimondi (1826–1890), who first described fossil Whale remains in Peru.

Huaridelphis raimondii, skull in ventral (A, B), posterior (C), anterior (D), and right lateral (E, F) views. Diagonal solid lines indicate major breaks. Lambert et al. (2014).

See also…

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/a-fossil-porpoise-from-early-pliocene.html A fossil Porpoise from the early Pliocene of northern Hokkaido Island, Japan.            Porpoises (Phocoenidae) are small Whales, related to Dolphins (Delphinidae). They tend to have shorter snouts than Dolphins, with flattened, spade-shaped teeth, as opposed to the conical, pointed teeth of Dolphins. They are among the smallest and shortest lived Whales, ranging from 1.2 to 2.3 m in length and typically reaching sexual maturity at about eight...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/a-fossil-neobalaenine-whale-from-late.html A fossil Neobalaenine Whale from the Late Miocene of Argentina.                                         The Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata) is not considered to be closely related to other Baleen Whales, though it's precise affinities have alluded taxonomists for some time. It has been suggested that it is related to true Right Whales (Balaenidae), Rorquals and Grey Whales (Balaenopteroidea) and the extinct Cetotheres. At the moment it is generally place in its own family, the Neobalaenidae.

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