[MARMAM] SVP symposium 2006: "The start of the radiation of Neoceti."

Mark Uhen uhen at umich.edu
Fri Jan 20 06:06:25 PST 2006

Announcement of SVP symposium, October 2006

The start of the radiation of Neoceti - unraveling the early history of 
Neoceti, including the transition from Archaeoceti and the origin of 
modern lineages.

This symposium will be presented as part of 66th Annual Meeting of the 
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, October 18-21, 2006; at Marriott 
Ottawa/The Crowne Plaza Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We expect it 
will be held on the morning of Wednesday 18th (to be confirmed and 
posted on SVP website).

Conveners: R Ewan Fordyce, Mark D Uhen.

Background. Cetacean research has advanced enormously in the last 2 
decades, marked by many contributions on origins and initial radiation 
of Archaeoceti, and on the Neogene history of Neoceti - "modern" whales 
and dolphins. Research is moving towards "closing the gap" between these 
bottom-up and top-down approaches, identifying and interpreting issues 
involved with the origin and initial radiation of the Neoceti in latest 
Eocene and Oligocene times. We expect the proposed symposium to interest 
vertebrate paleontologists, marine mammalogists and molecular 

The symposium will consider at least 3 broad aspects:
a) Contributions based around fossils of early Neoceti, desirably in the 
range late/latest Eocene to Oligocene/Miocene boundary (Priabonian to 
basal Aquitanian). We seek topics of broader importance, rather than 
routine reports of, for example, new records of species in well-known 
b) Contributions on later archaeocetes that deal with transition from 
Archaeoceti to Neoceti. More-basal groups such as protocetids and 
pakicetids might be considered if they explicitly address key issues 
within the Neoceti, but later basilosaurids and dorudontids are likely 
to be more revealing.
c) Molecular studies, studies on younger fossils, and anatomical studies 
on extant mammals that explicitly elucidate the early history of 
Neoceti. This aspect would embrace "evo-devo" issues.

We have discussed the symposium with some colleagues active in cetacean 
research, including some of those who will receive this mailing, and 
have many expressions of interest. Potential contributions include 
presentations on: significant new taxa including early records of 
crown-taxa; evolution of functional systems (teeth, filter-feeding, 
ears, vertebrae); regional faunas; reassessments of phylogeny; and 
patterns of diversity over time. We particularly encourage appropriate 
contributions from marine mammal biologists.

Please forward this to colleagues who may be interested.

If you anticipate contributing, and have not yet contacted the 
conveners, please email both of us:

ewan.fordyce at stonebow.otago.ac.nz AND uhen at umich.edu

outlining your proposed contribution. If you have already discussed a 
contribution, and find that it changes direction, please keep us up to 
date. Proposals for posters and platform contributions will be 
considered formally at the usual time of abstract submission, as 
outlined on http://www.vertpaleo.org/meetings/index.html.
Mark D. Uhen                         Phone: 248-645-3253
Curator of Paleontology and Zoology  Fax  : 248-645-3050
Cranbrook Institute of Science       Email: uhen at umich.edu
39221 Woodward Avenue
PO Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303-0801

More information about the MARMAM mailing list