Two specimens of fossil juvenile gray whale from the sea bottom between Taiwan and the Penghu Islands are Quaternary in age, and probably early Holocene, no older than 11–12 ka. Both specimens preserve the posterior portion of the skull from the occipital condyles to the broken frontals; the earbones are missing. A key diagnostic feature of eschrichtiids, paired tuberosities on the supraoccipital, occurs in both specimens. Because of incompleteness and differences with the living gray whale, the fossils are designated as Eschrichtius sp. rather than Eschrichtius robustus. This report of fossil gray whales is the first from Taiwan. The fossils expand the known range of Quaternary gray whales, and this occurrence of juveniles is consistent with a possible paleo-breeding- or nursery range.
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Vol. 18 • No. 2