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Extensive Diversity and Disparity of the Early Miocene Platanistoids (Cetacea, Odontoceti) in the Southeastern Pacific (Chilcatay Formation, Peru)

1
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
2
CR2P (CNRS, MNHN, SU), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Département Origines et Évolution, 75005 Paris, France
3
Departamento de Paleontología de Vertebrados, Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima 15072, Peru
4
Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, D.O. Terre et Histoire de la Vie, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10030027
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 14 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Paleontology)
Several aspects of the fascinating evolutionary history of toothed and baleen whales (Cetacea) are still to be clarified due to the fragmentation and discontinuity (in space and time) of the fossil record. Here we open a window on the past, describing a part of the extraordinary cetacean fossil assemblage deposited in a restricted interval of time (19–18 Ma) in the Chilcatay Formation (Peru). All the fossils here examined belong to the Platanistoidea clade as here redefined, a toothed whale group nowadays represented only by the Asian river dolphin Platanista gangetica. Two new genera and species, the hyper-longirostrine Ensidelphis riveroi and the squalodelphinid Furcacetus flexirostrum, are described together with new material referred to the squalodelphinid Notocetus vanbenedeni and fragmentary remains showing affinities with the platanistid Araeodelphis. Our cladistic analysis defines the new clade Platanidelphidi, sister-group to Allodelphinidae and including E. riveroi and the clade Squalodelphinidae + Platanistidae. The fossils here examined further confirm the high diversity and disparity of platanistoids during the early Miocene. Finally, morphofunctional considerations on the entire platanistoid assemblage of the Chilcatay Formation suggest a high trophic partitioning of this peculiar cetacean paleocommunity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Odontoceti; Squalodelphinidae; Platanistidae; early Miocene; Peru; phylogeny; paleoecology Odontoceti; Squalodelphinidae; Platanistidae; early Miocene; Peru; phylogeny; paleoecology
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Bianucci, G.; de Muizon, C.; Urbina, M.; Lambert, O. Extensive Diversity and Disparity of the Early Miocene Platanistoids (Cetacea, Odontoceti) in the Southeastern Pacific (Chilcatay Formation, Peru). Life 2020, 10, 27.

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