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Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov., an early Miocene stem odontocete (Cetacea) from New Zealand


Aguirre-Fernández, Gabriel; Fordyce, R Ewan (2014). Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov., an early Miocene stem odontocete (Cetacea) from New Zealand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 34(1):195-210.

Abstract

The early Miocene is one of the least understood intervals in cetacean evolution. A new early Miocene dolphin described here, Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov. (family incertae sedis, Cetacea, Odontoceti), is from the Kaipuke Formation (21.7–18.7 Ma) of North West Nelson, New Zealand. The holotype of Papahu taitapu includes a skull with an open mesorostral canal, a broad-based rostrum (broken anteriorly), two pairs of premaxillary foramina, a slight bilateral asymmetry at the antorbital notches, a slight intertemporal constriction exposing the temporal fossa and the lateral wall of the braincase in dorsal view, and single-rooted (and probably homodont) teeth. The periotic has an inflated, spherical pars cochlearis and an anterior process with the anterointernal sulcus and a recurved lateral sulcus well developed. The skull size indicates a body length of about 2 m. Papahu taitapu plots cladistically in a cluster of archaic dolphins variously referred to as Platanistoidea or as stem Odontoceti. It matches no family described so far, but cladistic relationships for comparable odontocetes are not yet resolved enough to justify family placement.

Abstract

The early Miocene is one of the least understood intervals in cetacean evolution. A new early Miocene dolphin described here, Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov. (family incertae sedis, Cetacea, Odontoceti), is from the Kaipuke Formation (21.7–18.7 Ma) of North West Nelson, New Zealand. The holotype of Papahu taitapu includes a skull with an open mesorostral canal, a broad-based rostrum (broken anteriorly), two pairs of premaxillary foramina, a slight bilateral asymmetry at the antorbital notches, a slight intertemporal constriction exposing the temporal fossa and the lateral wall of the braincase in dorsal view, and single-rooted (and probably homodont) teeth. The periotic has an inflated, spherical pars cochlearis and an anterior process with the anterointernal sulcus and a recurved lateral sulcus well developed. The skull size indicates a body length of about 2 m. Papahu taitapu plots cladistically in a cluster of archaic dolphins variously referred to as Platanistoidea or as stem Odontoceti. It matches no family described so far, but cladistic relationships for comparable odontocetes are not yet resolved enough to justify family placement.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:24 Nov 2016 13:49
Last Modified:27 Nov 2016 06:31
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0272-4634
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2013.799069

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