The origin of elephant seals: implications of a fragmentary late Pliocene seal (Phocidae: Miroungini) from New Zealand

  title={The origin of elephant seals: implications of a fragmentary late Pliocene seal (Phocidae: Miroungini) from New Zealand},
  author={Robert W. Boessenecker and Morgan Churchill},
  journal={New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics},
  pages={544 - 550}
ABSTRACT Elephant seals (Phocidae: Miroungini) are conspicuous members of modern marine mammal communities but have a meagre fossil record, obscuring the origins of this charismatic clade. We describe the oldest record for the group, CD 35, representing fragments of the maxilla, squamosal, as well as the P2, P3, and possible P1 from the Late Pliocene of the Petane Formation of New Zealand. This fossil possesses several features found only in Miroungini, including simplified triple-cusped teeth… Expand
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