The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru

  title={The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru},
  author={Olivier Lambert and Giovanni Bianucci and Klaas Post and Christian de Muizon and Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi and Mario Urbina and Jelle W. F. Reumer},
The modern giant sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, one of the largest known predators, preys upon cephalopods at great depths. Lacking a functional upper dentition, it relies on suction for catching its prey; in contrast, several smaller Miocene sperm whales (Physeteroidea) have been interpreted as raptorial (versus suction) feeders, analogous to the modern killer whale Orcinus orca. Whereas very large physeteroid teeth have been discovered in various Miocene localities, associated diagnostic… 
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A new genus and species of physeteroid is described and phylogenetic analysis recovers R. valenciae as one of the earliest branching stem physeteroids, interpreted as part of a mechanism leading to the loss of apical and subapical upper teeth in sperm whales during the Miocene.
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A phylogenetic analysis based on 53 characters and 21 physeteroid species confirms the monophyly of Acrophyseter and groups this genus with the larger, middle to late Miocene macroraptorial stem physeteroids Brygmophyseter and Zygophyseter.
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ABSTRACT In contrast to the suction-feeding, predominantly teuthophagous extant sperm whale, several Miocene physeteroids display proportionally larger teeth, deeply embedded in both upper and lower
Scaphokogia totajpe, sp. nov., a New Bulky-Faced Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogiidae) from the Late Miocene of Peru
The cranial morphology of Scaphokogia totajpe indicates that the extent of the nasal complex was greater than in modern kogiids, and highlights a late Miocene diversity peak for sperm whales in the global oceans, before the Pliocene odontocete turnover.
The most basal beaked whale Ninoziphius platyrostris Muizon, 1983: clues on the evolutionary history of the family Ziphiidae (Cetacea: Odontoceti)
The morphology of the oral apparatus suggests that Ninoziphius was less specialized for suction feeding than most extant ziphiids and is the most basal stem ziphiid in the cladistic analysis.
No deep diving: evidence of predation on epipelagic fish for a stem beaked whale from the Late Miocene of Peru
A ziphiid–fish assemblage from the Late Miocene of Peru is reported, interpreted as the first direct evidence of a predator–prey relationship between a Ziphiid and epipelagic fish, and supports the hypothesis that only more derived ziphiids were regular deep divers and that the extinction of epipelagos forms may coincide with the radiation of true dolphins.
The origins of the killer whale ecomorph
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A partitioning of the ecological niches in the early phases of platanistoid evolution, as well as a high diversification of feeding methods previously underestimated for this period, suggests ecological adaptations have a strong evolutionary pressure in odontocete communities and should be further explored.
Niche Partitioning in Oligocene Toothed Mysticetes (Mysticeti: Aetiocetidae)
A new aetiocetid specimen from the upper part of Morawan Formation, Ashoro, Hokkaido, Japan, sheds new light on niche partitioning of Oligocene toothed mysticetes and evolution of body size in Mysticeti.
Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales
This study illustrates that Cope’s rule is insufficient to explain the evolution of body size in a group that comprises the largest animals in the history of life, although currently the lack of exact ancestor-descendant relationships remains to fully reveal the evolutionary history ofBody size.


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Large body size, large teeth present in both lower and upper jaw, and anteroposteriorly elongated temporal fossa and zygomatic process of the squamosal indicate that this cetacean was an active predator adapted to feeding on large prey, similarly to the extant killer whale.
A new species of Middle Miocene sperm whale of the genus Scaldicetus (Cetacea; Physeteridae) from Shiga-mura, Japan
A nearly complete skeleton of a fossil sperm whale from the Middle Miocene age Bessho Formation at Shiga-mura, Nagano Prefecture, the most complete fossil physeterid skeleton found in Japan, is here
Functional Morphology of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Tongue, with Reference to Suction Feeding
Abstract Gross and microscopic examination of the tongue and hyolingual apparatus of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) revealed numerous dis-tinct differences from those of other toothed
Functional anatomy of the head of the large aquatic predator Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus (Plesiosauria, Reptilia) from the Toarcian (Lower Jurassic) of Yorkshire, England
The skull and mandible of the type specimen of the large pliosauroid plesiosaur Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus from the Toarcian of England are elongate, and adapted for powerful predatory activity in
Sperm Whales: Social Evolution in the Ocean
The crucial role that culture plays in the life of the sperm whale is explored, and a general model of how the ocean environment influences social behaviour and cultural evolution among mammals as well as other animals is built.
Great white sharks : the biology of Carcharodon carcharias
The Behavior of White Sharks and Their Pinniped Prey during Predatory Attacks, and the Implications for Predator Avoidance, is published.
Marine mammals through time: when less is more in studying palaeodiversity
  • F. Marx
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2008
Limited evidence was found for a correlation of outcrop area with marine mammal palaeodiversity, and similar patterns were identified in the cetacean and pinnipedimorph diversity data, which may point to the preservation of a genuine biological signal not overwhelmed by geological biases in the marine mammal diversity data.
A review of Killer Whale interactions with other marine mammals: predation to co‐existence
It is concluded that interactions between Killer Whales and marine mammals are complex, involving many different factors that the authors are just beginning to understand.
Fossil whale preservation implies high diatom accumulation rate in the Miocene–Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru
Diatomaceous deposits in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco For- mation contain abundant whales preserved in pristine condition (bones articulated or at least closely associated), in some cases in- cluding