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bluefish1766

Identification of Whale/Dolphin/Cetacean fossil skull fragment

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bluefish1766

Hi all

 

I purchased this cetacean skull fragment from a person who collected it in South Carolina many, many years ago. She said that she found it specifically in the ACE basin (Ashepoo, Combahee, Edisto Basin) while diving.  I want to see if anyone can help me identify the species.  I figure it's a cetacean skull, likely from an odontocete (?sperm whale or relative), and possibly consists of the premaxillary bones (with the large fossa for the melon) and others.  I've included a number of photos.  It measures 16 in long, 8 in wide, and 7 in tall and weighs over 13 lbs.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!   

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bluefish1766

More photos

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MrR

I can't help on the specific ID, but it's a great fossil indeed. Member @Boesse seems to be one of the experts most likely to help with such things. Good luck. It's very impressive. Congrat's on a nice purchase/possession!

 

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Fossildude19

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SailingAlongToo

@bluefish1766

 

Just FYI to make it easier,

Boesse will want sharp photos from all angles against a contrasting background with some type of scale (ruler or tape measure) in each photo.

:)

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Boesse

Actually these photos are fine! Mostly because I know exactly what this is and exactly how big it is, because there are about a half dozen of these in museum collections in Charleston; several at Charleston Museum, and one at our museum (Mace Brown MNH). This is a skull of the extinct beaked whale (Ziphiidae) Eboroziphius coelops, named by Leidy (1877) and figured immaculately here in his plate. It's possible that Eboroziphius might be a nomen dubium according to Post et al. (2006):

 
Because many new specimens exist, it might be useful to re-visit the taxonomy and diversity of South Carolina ziphiids. These are probably Pliocene in age.

 

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bluefish1766
On 4/11/2019 at 6:51 PM, Fossildude19 said:

 

This is so awesome!!!  Thanks so much, everyone, especially Boesse!  All of the information is very helpful.  

 

Lastly, what are some good sources that you all recommend to learn more about cetacean evolution?

 

Thanks again!

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