Fossil Record 11(2): 57-60, doi: 10.1002/mmng.200800001
First record of the archaeocete whale family Protocetidae from Europe
expand article infoM. D. Uhen, H.-J. Berndt§
‡ United States National Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, United States of America§ Dorfstraße 25, 83115 Neubeuern, Germany
Open Access
We describe a specimen of Eocetus sp. from the middle Eocene Stockletten Formation of Rohrdorf, Bavaria, Germany, consisting of a lumbar vertebral body and transverse processes. This specimen constitutes the first record of Eocetus, and the first confirmed record of the family Protocetidae from Europe. This new observation further supports the hypothesis that protocetids were highly aquatic and that their method of aquatic locomotion was sufficient for them to spread far from their center of origin in Indo-Pakistan.