The previously scarce fossil record of Ziphiidae (beaked whales) has greatly increased recently thanks to the serendipitous discovery of high specimen concentrations along deep seafloors as well as to abundant inland finds from the Upper Miocene of the Pisco Formation (East Pisco Basin, Peru). In the latter unit, ziphiid remains are indeed among the most prevalent of the whole cetacean assemblage, being represented by four distinct genera and species plus at least two as-yet unnamed taxa. Here, we describe a fifth ziphiid genus and species from the Pisco strata, Mamaziphius reyesi n. gen. n. sp., based on a partial cranium from mid-Tortonian (lower Upper Miocene, 9.1-9.0 Ma) strata exposed at the locality of Cerros la Mama y la Hija. Though reminiscent of the extant genus Berardius, the holotype skull lacks two diagnostic characters of Berardiinae, namely, an isolated rounded protuberance formed by the interparietal or frontals on the posterior part of the vertex, and a posterior transverse narrowing of the nasals and frontals at the vertex. Our phylogenetic analysis reveals that Mamaziphius n. gen. is nested within the crown ziphiids, as sister group of the berardiines. In addition, we introduce two new clade names within Ziphiidae, namely, Messapicetiformes (for the so-called “Messapicetus clade”) and Vomeroziphii (for Ziphiinae + Hyperoodontinae and closely related forms). Another fragmentary specimen from the Pisco Formation is also briefly described herein. Furthermore, a comprehensive reappraisal of the geological age of the fossil beaked whales of Peru is provided based on new age calibrations, thus restricting the whole rich Peruvian record of this family (including the earliest-branching ziphiid, Ninoziphius platyrostris, which comes from Pisco-equivalent strata of the Sacaco area) to a Tortonian-Messinian interval younger than 9.10 Ma. No other inland unit worldwide preserves a record of fossil ziphiids as abundant, diverse and chronostratigraphically well-constrained as the Pisco Formation. In view of this, the absence of Vomeroziphii from the fossil content of the Pisco strata remains quite enigmatic.

A new Late Miocene beaked whale (Cetacea, Odontoceti) from the Pisco Formation, and a revised age for the fossil Ziphiidae of Peru

Di Celma C.;
2024-01-01

Abstract

The previously scarce fossil record of Ziphiidae (beaked whales) has greatly increased recently thanks to the serendipitous discovery of high specimen concentrations along deep seafloors as well as to abundant inland finds from the Upper Miocene of the Pisco Formation (East Pisco Basin, Peru). In the latter unit, ziphiid remains are indeed among the most prevalent of the whole cetacean assemblage, being represented by four distinct genera and species plus at least two as-yet unnamed taxa. Here, we describe a fifth ziphiid genus and species from the Pisco strata, Mamaziphius reyesi n. gen. n. sp., based on a partial cranium from mid-Tortonian (lower Upper Miocene, 9.1-9.0 Ma) strata exposed at the locality of Cerros la Mama y la Hija. Though reminiscent of the extant genus Berardius, the holotype skull lacks two diagnostic characters of Berardiinae, namely, an isolated rounded protuberance formed by the interparietal or frontals on the posterior part of the vertex, and a posterior transverse narrowing of the nasals and frontals at the vertex. Our phylogenetic analysis reveals that Mamaziphius n. gen. is nested within the crown ziphiids, as sister group of the berardiines. In addition, we introduce two new clade names within Ziphiidae, namely, Messapicetiformes (for the so-called “Messapicetus clade”) and Vomeroziphii (for Ziphiinae + Hyperoodontinae and closely related forms). Another fragmentary specimen from the Pisco Formation is also briefly described herein. Furthermore, a comprehensive reappraisal of the geological age of the fossil beaked whales of Peru is provided based on new age calibrations, thus restricting the whole rich Peruvian record of this family (including the earliest-branching ziphiid, Ninoziphius platyrostris, which comes from Pisco-equivalent strata of the Sacaco area) to a Tortonian-Messinian interval younger than 9.10 Ma. No other inland unit worldwide preserves a record of fossil ziphiids as abundant, diverse and chronostratigraphically well-constrained as the Pisco Formation. In view of this, the absence of Vomeroziphii from the fossil content of the Pisco strata remains quite enigmatic.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/481464
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact