Possible Neobalaenid from the Miocene of Australia Implies a Long Evolutionary History for the Pygmy Right Whale Caperea marginata (Cetacea, Mysticeti)

  title={Possible Neobalaenid from the Miocene of Australia Implies a Long Evolutionary History for the Pygmy Right Whale Caperea marginata (Cetacea, Mysticeti)},
  author={Erich M. G. Fitzgerald},
Despite the recent deluge of research into the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) (Sasaki et al., 2005; Steeman, 2007; Deméré et al., 2008; Kimura and Hasegawa, 2010; Churchill et al., 2011; Ekdale et al., 2011; Marx, 2011), the fundamental phylogenetic relationships and origins of crown mysticetes (including all living families) remain surprisingly unresolved (Marx, 2011). Most controversial of all is the phylogeny of the Neobalaenidae, represented solely by the bizarre pygmy right whale… 
The pygmy right whale Caperea marginata: the last of the cetotheres
  • R. FordyceF. Marx
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2013
The study of a wealth of material from New Zealand collections has identified several new features previously unreported in Caperea, which suggest that the pygmy right whale may be the last survivor of the supposedly extinct family Cetotheriidae, thus resurrecting the latter from extinction and helping to clarify the origins of a long-problematic living species.
The early Miocene balaenid Morenocetus parvus from Patagonia (Argentina) and the evolution of right whales
The analysis of cranial and periotic morphology of Morenocetus suggest that some of the specialized morphological traits of modern balaenids were acquired by the early Miocene and have remained essentially unchanged up to the present, while optimization of body length on the phylogeny of Balaenidae suggests that the primitive condition was a relatively small body length.
The earliest baleen whale from the Mediterranean: large‐scale implications of an early Miocene thalassotherian mysticete from Piedmont, Italy
The discovery of an early Miocene chaeomysticete from the Pietra da Cantoni Group in Piedmont (north‐western Italy) allowed for the establishment of Atlanticetus lavei gen. et sp. nov. The new
Comparative osteology and phylogenetic relationships of Miocaperea pulchra, the first fossil pygmy right whale genus and species (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Neobalaenidae)
A fossil pygmy right whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Neobalaenidae) with exquisitely preserved baleen is described for the first time in the history of cetacean palaeontology, providing a wealth of
A Miocene pygmy right whale fossil from Australia
An isolated periotic from the latest Miocene of Victoria (Australia) shows all the hallmarks of Caperea, making it the second-oldest described neobalaenine, and the oldest record of the genus.
Cosmopolitanism and Miocene survival of Eomysticetidae (Cetacea: Mysticeti) revealed by new fossils from New Zealand
ABSTRACT The Eomysticetidae is an extinct family of early-diverging baleen whales. They are baleen-bearing filter feeders, but some have vestigial teeth. A limited fossil record indicates an acme
A Late Miocene Potential Neobalaenine Mandible from Argentina Sheds Light on the Origins of the Living Pygmy Right Whale
A Late Miocene mysticete mandible from Patagonia, Argentina, is reported, and provisionally refer it to Neobalaeninae, gen. et sp.
Juvenile morphology: A clue to the origins of the most mysterious of mysticetes?
It is shown that at least two features, the ascending process of the maxilla and the coronoid process, arise from substantially different precursors early during ontogeny and therefore likely do not represent genuine synapomorphies and may help to reconcile morphological and molecular evidence.
The Anatomy of the Late Miocene Baleen Whale Cetotherium riabinini from Ukraine
Many characteristics of the mysticete skull likely evolved as a result of cranial kinesis, thus leading to multiple instances of morphological convergence across different phylogenetic lineages, as seen in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos.
An Early Pleistocene gray whale (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae) from the Rio Dell Formation of northern California
Abstract. The earliest fossil gray whale (Eschrichtius) from the eastern North Pacific is reported from the Lower Pleistocene Rio Dell Formation of Humboldt County, Northern California. This


Review of the fossil balaenids from Japan with a re-description of Eubalaena shinshuensis (Mammalia, Cetacea, Mysticeti)
Introduction At least 39 species of extant cetaceans can be found in the western North Pacifi c (Kasuya, 1996), including representatives of the two living genera of the family Balaenidae, Eubalaena
A New Baleen Whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae) from the Earliest Late Miocene of Japan and a Reconsideration of the Phylogeny of Cetotheres
A new, well-preserved mysticete fossil is described and diagnosed here as Joumocetus shimizui, and it is suggested that the Isanacetus-group is a paraphyletic taxon that includes the ancestors of two clades, Balaenopteridae + Eschrichtiidae and the Cetotheriidae sensu stricto.
Morphology and phylogenetic relationships of a new eschrichtiid genus (Cetacea: Mysticeti) from the Early Pliocene of northern Italy
The recognition of this new eschrichtiid genus suggests that the Mediterranean trophic web of the Early Pliocene was more complex than at present and that the Neogene mysticete family-level biodiversity of the Mediterranean was higher than that currently observed in this basin.
Radiation of Extant Cetaceans Driven by Restructuring of the Oceans
It is found that the toothed whales are monophyletic, suggesting that echolocation evolved only once early in that lineage some 36–34 Ma, and support is found for increased diversification rates during periods of pronounced physical restructuring of the oceans.
The systematics of right whales (Mysticeti: Balaenidae)
A sister-group relationship between neobalaenid and balaenids is strongly supported, although this conflicts with molecular evidence, which may be an artifact of long-branch attraction (LBA).
The More the Merrier? A Large Cladistic Analysis of Mysticetes, and Comments on the Transition from Teeth to Baleen
  • F. Marx
  • Biology
    Journal of Mammalian Evolution
  • 2010
This investigation revealed the former clade to be more closely related to a large number of extinct species than to right whales, thus contradicting previous notions of a closely related mysticete crown group.
Morphological and molecular evidence for a stepwise evolutionary transition from teeth to baleen in mysticete whales.
The dramatic transformation in mysticete feeding anatomy documents an apparently rare, stepwise mode of evolution in which a composite phenotype bridged the gap between primitive and derived morphologies; a combination of fossil and molecular evidence provides a multifaceted record of this macroevolutionary pattern.
Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales.
The mtDNA analysis suggests that four lineages exist within the clade of Eschrichtiidae + Balaenopteridae, including a sister relationship between the humpback and fin whales, and a monophyletic group formed by the blue, sei, and Bryde's whales, each of which represents a newly recognized phylogenetic relationship in Mysticeti.
The anatomy and relationships of Piscobalaena nana (Cetacea, Mysticeti) a Cetotheriidae s.s. from the early Pliocene of Peru.
A parsimony analysis of 101 morphological characters of the skull, auditory area and dentary tested on 23 taxa confirms the paraphyly of the Cetotheriidae as traditionally defined and suggests that six of the studied fossil baleen mysticetes constitute a clade.
It is concluded that a small body size was a common condition in different Balaenidae clades.