Synopsis of the Earliest Cetaceans

Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, and Protocetidae
  • Ellen M. Williams
Part of the Advances in Vertebrate Paleobiology book series (AIVP, volume 1)

Abstract

The story of cetacean origin, early evolution, diversification, and dispersal has dramatically changed in the last 20 years, related in large part to discoveries made in Pakistan, India, and the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States. These discoveries have helped to document an extraordinary progression in whales from a predatory terrestrial ancestor to highly specialized open marine dwellers. Although this story is far from complete, it is useful to review the known diversity of early cetaceans in order to provide a framework for future discoveries and paleobiological studies. This chapter will give a synopsis of the systematic paleontology of the four earliest cetacean families and their occurrence both geologically and geographically.

Keywords

Middle Eocene Cheek Tooth Mandibular Symphysis External Nare Green Shale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Albright, L. B. 1996. A protocetid cetacean from the Eocene of South Carolina. J. Paleontol. 70(3):519–523.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, J. R. L. 1970. Physical Processes of Sedimentation. Allen & Unwin, London.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, C. W. 1906. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Tertiary Vertebrata of the Fayum, Egypt. British Museum of Natural History, London.Google Scholar
  4. Andrews, C. W. 1920. A description of new species of zeuglodont and of leathery turtle from the Eocene of southern Nigeria. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 22:309–319.Google Scholar
  5. Asian, A., and Thewissen, J. G. M. 1996. Preliminary evaluation of paleosols and implications for interpreting vertebrate fossil assemblages, Kuldana Formation, northern Pakistan. Palaeovertebrata 25(–4):261–277.Google Scholar
  6. Bajpai, S., Thewissen, J. G. M, and Sahni, A. 1996. Indocetus (Cetacea, Mammalia) endocasts from Kachchh (India). J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 16(3):582–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barnes, L. G., and Mitchell, E. 1978. Cetacea, in: V. J. Maglio and H. B. S. Cooke (eds.), Evolution of African Mammals, pp. 582–587. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  8. Berggren, W. A., Kent, D. V., Swisher, C. C., and Aubry, M. P. 1996. A revised Cenozoic geochronology and chronostratigraphy, in: Geochronology, Time Scales, and Global Stratigraphic Correlation, No. 54, pp. 129–212. SEPM Spec. Publ., Tulsa, OK.Google Scholar
  9. Biswas, S. K. 1992. Tertiary stratigraphy of Kutch. J. Palaeontol. Soc. India 37:1–29.Google Scholar
  10. Boggs, S. 1986. Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. Merrill, Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  11. Bruijn, H. de, Hussain, S. T., and Leinders, J. J. M. 1982. On some early Eocene rodent remains from Barbara Banda, Kohat, Pakistan, and early history of the order Rodentia. Proc. K. Ned. Akad. Wet. Sen B 85:249–258.Google Scholar
  12. Dehm, R., and Oettingen-Spielberg, T. zu. 1958. Paläontologische und geologische Untersuchungen im Tertiär von Pakistan. 2. Die mitteleocänen Saügetierre von Ganda Kas bei Basal in Nordwest Pakistan. Abh. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. Math. Naturwiss. Kl. N.F. 91:1–54.Google Scholar
  13. Eames, F. E. 1951. A contribution to the study of the Eocene in western Pakistan and western India: B. The description of Lamellibranchia from standard sections in the Rakhi Nala and Zinda Pir areas of the western Punjab and in the Kohat District. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Sen B 235:311–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eames, F. E. 1952. A contribution to the study of the Eocene in western Pakistan and western India: B. A description of the Scaphopoda and Gastropoda from standard sections in the Rakhi Nala and Zinda Pir areas of western Punjab and the Kohat District. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B 236:1–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fraas, E. 1904. Neue Zeuglodonten aus dem unteren Mitteleocän vom Mokattam bei Cairo. Geol. Paläontol. Abh. N. F. 6:199–220.Google Scholar
  16. Geisler, J., Sanders, A. E., and Luo, Z. 1996. A new protocetid cetacean from the Eocene of South Carolina, U.S.A.; phylogenetic and biogeographic implications. Paleontol. Soc. Spec. Bull. 8:139.Google Scholar
  17. Gingerich, P. D. 1991. Partial skeleton of a new archaecocete from the earliest middle Eocene Habib Rahi Limestone, Pakistan. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 11(3):31A.Google Scholar
  18. Gingerich, P. D. 1992. Marine mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from the Eocene of Gebel Mokattam and Fayum, Egypt: stratigraphy, age, and paleoenvironments. Univ. Michigan Pap. Paleontol. 30:1–84.Google Scholar
  19. Gingerich, P. D., and Russell, D. E. 1981. Pakicetus inachus, a new archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the early-middle Eocene Kuldana Formation of Kohat (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 25:235–246.Google Scholar
  20. Gingerich, P. D., and Russell, D. E. 1990. Dentition of early Eocene Pakicetus (Mammalia, Cetacea). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 28(1):1–20.Google Scholar
  21. Gingerich, P. D., Wells, N. A., Russell, D. E., and Shah, S. M. I. 1983. Origin of whales in epicontinental remnant seas: new evidence from the early Eocene of Pakistan. Science 220:403–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gingerich, P. D., Cappetta, H., and Traverse, M. 1992. Marine mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from the middle Eocene of Kpogamé-Hahotoé in Togo. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 12(3):29–30A.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gingerich, P. D., Raza, S. M., Arif, M., Anwar, M., and Zhou, X. 1993. Partial skeletons of Indocetus ramani (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the lower middle Eocene Domanda Shale in the Sulaiman Range of Punjab (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 38(16):393–416.Google Scholar
  24. Gingerich, P. D., Raza, S. M., Arif, M., Anwar, M., and Zhou, X. 1994. New whale from the Eocene of Pakistan and the origin of cetacean swimming. Nature 368:844–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gingerich, P. D., Arif, M., and Clyde, W. C. 1995a. New archaeocetes (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the middle Eocene Domanda Formation of the Sulaiman Range, Punjab (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 29(11):291–330.Google Scholar
  26. Gingerich, P. D., Arif, M., Bhatti, M. A., Raza, H. A., and Raza, S. M. 1995b. Protosiren and Babiacetus (Mammalia, Sirenia and Cetacea) from the middle Eocene Drazinda Formation, Sulaiman Range, Punjab (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 29(12):331–357.Google Scholar
  27. Gingerich, P. D., Arif, M., Bhatti, M. A., Anwar, M., and Sanders, W. J. 1997. Basilosaurus drazindai and Basiloterus hussaini, new Archaeoceti (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the middle Eocene Drazinda Formation, with revised interpretation of ages of whale-bearing strata in the Kirthar group of the Sulaiman Range, Punjab (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 30(2):55–81.Google Scholar
  28. Halstead, L. B., and Middleton, J. A. 1974. New material of the archaeocete whale, Papocetus lugardi Andrews, from the middle Eocene of Nigeria. J. Min. Geol. 8:81–85.Google Scholar
  29. Harms, J. C., Southard, J. B., Spearing, D. R., and Walker, R. G. 1975. Depositional environments as interpreted from primary sedimentary structures and stratiphication sequences. Soc. Econ. Paleontol. Mineral. Short Course 2:1–161.Google Scholar
  30. Hulbert, R. C., Petkewich, R. M., Bishop, G. A., Bukry, D., and Aleshire, D. P. 1998. A new middle Eocene protocetid whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia. J. Paleontol. 72:905–925.Google Scholar
  31. Iqbal, M. W. A. 1969. The Tertiary pelecypod and gastropod fauna from Drug, Zindapir, Vidor (District D. G. Khan), Jhalar, and Charat (District). Mem. Geol. Surv. Pakistan 6:1–94.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, B., and Desrochers, A. 1992. Shallow platform carbonates, in: R. G. Walker and N. P. James (eds.), Facies Modeling: Response to Sealevel Change, pp. 277–301. Geol. Assoc. Canada.Google Scholar
  33. Kellogg, A. R. 1928. The history of whales—their adaptation to life in water. Q. Rev. Biol. 3(2):174–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kellogg, A. R. 1936. A review of the Archaeoceti. Carnegie Inst. Washington Publ. 482:1–366.Google Scholar
  35. Kumar, K. 1991. Anthracobune ajiensis nov. sp. (Mammalia: Proboscidea) from the Subathu Formation, Eocene from NW Himalaya, India. Geobios 24:221–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kumar, K. 1992. Paratritemnodon indicus (Creodonta: Mammalia) from the early Middle Eocene Subathu Formation, NW Himalaya, India and the kalakot mammalian community structure. Paläontol. Zool. 66:387–403.Google Scholar
  37. Kumar, K., and Loyal, R. S. 1987. Eocene ichthyofauna from the Subathu Formation, northwestern Himalaya, India. J. Palaeontol. Soc. India 32:60–84.Google Scholar
  38. Kumar, K., and Sahni, A. 1985. Eocene mammals from the upper Subathu Group, Kashmir Himalaya, India. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 5:153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kumar, K., and Sahni, A. 1986. Remingtonocetus harudiensis, new combination, a middle Eocene archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from western Kutch, India. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 6:326–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maas, M. C., and Thewissen, J. G. M. 1995. Enamel microstructure of Pakicetus (Mammalia: Archaeoceti). J. Paleontol. 69(6):1154–1163.Google Scholar
  41. McLeod, S. A., and Barnes, L. G. 1996. The systematic position of Pappocetus lugardi and a new taxon from North America (Archaeoceti: Protocetidae). Paleontol. Soc. Spec. Bull. 8:270.Google Scholar
  42. Middleton, G. V. 1973. Johannes Walther’s law of the correlation of facies. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 84:979–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sahni, A., and Mishra, V. P. 1972. A new species of Protocetus (Cetacea) from the middle Eocene of Kutch, western India. Palaeontology 15:490–495.Google Scholar
  44. Sahni, A., and Mishra, V. P. 1975. Lower Tertiary vertebrates from western India. Monogr. Palaeontol. Soc. India 3:1–48.Google Scholar
  45. Satsangi, P. P., and Mukhopadhyay, P. K. 1975. New marine Eocene vertebrates from Kutch. J. Geol. Soc. India 16(1):84–86.Google Scholar
  46. Schweinfurth, G. A. 1883. Ueber die geologische schichtentgliederung des Mokattam bei Cairo. Z. Dtsch. Geol. Ges. 35:709–737.Google Scholar
  47. Slijper, E. J. 1936. Die Cetaceen. Vergleichend-Anatomisch und Systematisch. Capita Zool. 6–7:1–599.Google Scholar
  48. Slijper, E. J. 1962. Whales. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  49. Sprinkle, J., and Kier, P. M. 1987. Phylum Echinodermata, in: R. S. Boardman (ed.), Fossil Invertebrates, pp. 550–611. Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  50. Steckler, M. S., Reynolds, D. J., Coakley, B. J., Swift, B. A., and Jarrand, R. 1993. Modeling passive margin sequence stratigraphy. Spec. Publ. Int. Assoc. Sedimentol. 18:19–41.Google Scholar
  51. Stromer, E. 1903. Zeuglodon-Reste aus dem oberen Mittleocän des Fajum. Beitr. Paläontol. Geol. Österreich-Ungarns Orients 15:65–100.Google Scholar
  52. Stromer, E. 1908. Die Archaeoceti des Ägyptischen Eozäns. Beitr. Paläontol. Geol. Österreich-Ungarns Orients 21:1–14.Google Scholar
  53. Szalay, F. S., and Gould, S. J. 1966. Asiatic Mesonychidae (Mammalia, Condylarthra). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 132:131–173.Google Scholar
  54. Tandon, K. K. 1976. Biostratigraphic classification of the Middle Eocene rocks of a part of south western Kutch, India. J. Palaeontol. Soc. India 2:136–148.Google Scholar
  55. Thewissen, J. G. M. 1993. Eocene marine mammals from the Himalayan foothills. Res. Explor. Natl. Geog. Soc. 9:125–127; erratum 9:487.Google Scholar
  56. Thewissen, J. G. M., and Hussain, S. T. 1993. Origin of underwater hearing in whales. Nature 361:444–445.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Thewissen, J. G. M., and Hussain, S. T. 1998. Systematic review of the Pakicetidae, early and middle Eocene Cetacea (Mammalia) from Pakistan and India, Bull. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist. 34:220–238.Google Scholar
  58. Thewissen, J. G. M., and Hussain, S. T. In press. Attockicetus praecursor, a new remingtonocetid cetacean from marine Eocene sediments of Pakistan. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Cty. Sci. Ser..Google Scholar
  59. Thewissen, J. G. M., and McKenna, M. C. 1992. Paleobiogeography of Indo-Pakistan: a response to Briggs, Patterson, and Owen. Syst. Biol. 41:248–251.Google Scholar
  60. Thewissen, J. G. M., Gingerich, P. D., and Russell, D. E. 1987. Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla (Mammalia) from the early-middle Eocene Kuldana Formation of Kohat (Pakistan). Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Michigan 27:247–274.Google Scholar
  61. Thewissen, J. G. M., Hussain, S. T., and Arif, M. 1994. Fossil evidence for the origin of aquatic locomotion in archaeocete whales. Science 263:210–212.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thewissen, J. G. M., Madar, S. I., and Hussain, S. T. 1996. Ambulocetus natans, an Eocene cetacean (Mammalia) from Pakistan. Cour. Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg 191:1–86.Google Scholar
  63. Trivedy, A. N., and Satsangi, P. P. 1984. A new archaeocete (whale) from the Eocene of India. 27th Int. Geol. Congr. Abstr. 1:322–323.Google Scholar
  64. Uhen, M. D. 1996. New protocetid archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the late middle Eocene Cook Mountain Formation of Louisiana. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 16(3):70A.Google Scholar
  65. Van Beneden, P. J. 1883. Sur quelques ossements des cétacés fossiles, recuellis dans les couches phosphatées entre l’Elbe et le Weser. Bull Acad. R. Belg. Ser. 3 6:27–33.Google Scholar
  66. Wells, N. A. 1983. Transient streams in sand-poor redbeds: early-middle Eocene Kuldana Formation of northern Pakistan. Spec. Publ Int. Assoc. Sedimentol. 6:393–403.Google Scholar
  67. Wells, N. A. 1984. Marine and continental sedimentation in the early Cenozoic Kohat basin and adjacent northwest Pakistan. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  68. Wells, N. A., and Gingerich, P. D. 1987. Paleoenvironmental interpretation of Paleogene strata near Kotli, Azad Kashmir, northeastern Pakistan. Kashmir J. Geol. 5:23–41.Google Scholar
  69. West, R. M. 1980. Middle Eocene large mammal assemblage with Tethyan affinities, Ganda Kas region, Pakistan. J. Paleontol. 54:508–533.Google Scholar
  70. West, R. M, and Lukacs, J. R. 1979. Geology and vertebrate-fossil localities. Tertiary continental rocks, Kala Chitta Hills, Attock District, Pakistan. Milwaukee Public Mus. Contrib. Biol. Geol. 26:1–20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen M. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyNortheastern Ohio Universities College of MedicineRootstownUSA

Personalised recommendations