[MARMAM] New paper on a large cetotheriid, and the status of Tranatocetidae

Felix Marx fgmarx50 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 13 13:06:46 PST 2019


Dear colleagues,

please find below the abstract and link to our recently published open
access paper on a new large cetotheriid from the Late Miocene of the
Netherlands, and the status of the extinct baleen whale family
Tranatocetidae:

Marx, F.G., Post, K., Bosselaers, M., and Munsterman, D.K. (2019). A large
Late Miocene cetotheriid (Cetacea, Mysticeti) from the Netherlands
clarifies the status of Tranatocetidae. PeerJ 7, e6426.

Abstract: Cetotheriidae are a group of small baleen whales (Mysticeti) that
evolved alongside modern rorquals. They once enjoyed a nearly global
distribution, but then largely went extinct during the Plio-Pleistocene.
After languishing as a wastebasket taxon for more than a century, the
concept of Cetotheriidae is now well established. Nevertheless, the clade
remains notable for its variability, and its scope remains in flux. In
particular, the recent referral of several traditional cetotheriids to a
new and seemingly unrelated family, Tranatocetidae, has created major
phylogenetic uncertainty. Here, we describe a new species of Tranatocetus,
the type of Tranatocetidae, from the Late Miocene of the Netherlands.
Tranatocetus maregermanicum sp. nov. clarifies several of the traits
previously ascribed to this genus, and reveals distinctive auditory and
mandibular morphologies suggesting cetotheriid affinities. This
interpretation is supported by a large phylogenetic analysis, which mingles
cetotheriids and tranatocetids within a unified clade. As a result, we
suggest that both groups should be reintegrated into the single family
Cetotheriidae.

Link: https://peerj.com/articles/6426/

Kind regards,

Felix Marx
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