[MARMAM] New publication - Tsai and Fordyce 2018 Toipahautea waitaki

Tsai, CH craniata at gmail.com
Mon Apr 23 07:20:44 PDT 2018

Dear colleagues

Ewan and I are very pleased to announce a new paper - describing a new
genus and species of baleen whale from the Oligocene of New Zealand -

Tsai CH and Fordyce RE 2018. A new archaic baleen whale *Toipahautea
waitaki* (early Late Oligocene, New Zealand) and the origins of crown
Mysticeti. *Royal Society Open Science *5: 172453


A new genus and species of extinct baleen whale †*Toipahautea waitaki *(Late
Oligocene, New Zealand) is based on a skull and associated bones, from the
lower Kokoamu Greensand, about 27.5 Ma (local upper Whaingaroan Stage,
early Chattian). The upper jaw includes a thin, elongate and apparently
toothless maxilla, with evidence of arterial supply for baleen. Open
sutures with the premaxilla suggest a flexible (kinetic) upper jaw. The
blowhole is well forward. The mandible is bowed laterally and slightly
dorsally; unlike the Eomysticetidae, there are no mandibular alveoli, and
the coronoid process is tapered and curved laterally. Jaw structure is
consistent with baleen-assisted gulp-feeding. The age of early Chattian
makes †*Toipahautea* a very early, if not the oldest named, toothless and
baleen-bearing mysticete, suggesting that the full transition from toothed
to baleen-bearing probably occurred in the Early Oligocene. Late Oligocene
mysticetes vary considerably in jaw form and kinesis, tooth form and
function, and development of baleen, implying a wide range of raptorial,
suctorial and filter-feeding behaviour. More study may elucidate the
function of jaws, teeth and baleen in terms of opportunist/generalist
feeding, as in modern gray whales, versus specialized feeding. We here
propose that early mysticetes, when transitioned from toothed to
baleen-bearing, were generalists and opportunists instead of specializing
in any forms of feeding strategies. In addition, two different phylogenetic
analyses placed †*Toipahautea* either in a polytomy including crown
Mysticeti, or immediately basal to the crown, and above †Eomysticetidae in
both cases. Because the †*Toipahautea waitaki* holotype is an immature
individual, it may plot more basally in phylogeny than its true position.

This is an open-access paper and you should be able to download the full
text at:


Alternatively, please feel free to email me for a pdf copy at:

craniata at gmail.com; whaletsai at ntu.edu.tw; cheng-hsiu.tsai at otago.ac.nz

Regards and all the best,

蔡政修(Cheng-Hsiu Tsai  さい まさのぶ)
Lab of evolution and diversity of fossil vertebrates(古脊椎動物演化及多樣性實驗室)
Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University(台灣大學生命科學系)
No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei, 106-17, Taiwan(台灣 106-17 台北市羅斯福路 4 段
1 號)
Email: whaletsai at ntu.edu.tw; craniata at gmail.com; cheng-hsiu.tsai at otago.ac.nz
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