IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea
Boersma, A.T.; Pyenson, N.D. (2016). Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea. PeerJ 4(e2321): 41 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.7717/peerj.2321
In: PeerJ. PeerJ: Corte Madera & London. ISSN 2167-8359, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Fossils; Oligocene; Arktocara yakataga; Cetacea [WoRMS]; INE, USA, Alaska; Marine
Author keywords
    Arktocara yakataga

Authors  Top 
  • Boersma, A.T.
  • Pyenson, N.D.

Abstract
    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ~29–24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors