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1 January 2018 A New Species of the Genus Eschrichtius (Cetacea: Mysticeti) from the Early Pleistocene of Japan
Toshiyuki Kimura, Yoshikazu Hasegawa, Naoki Kohno
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Abstract

The family Eschrichtiidae is presently only represented by Eschrichtius robustus, a relict species from the North Pacific. Because of the scarcity of fossil records of the Eschrichtiidae, their evolutionary history is not well understood. A finely preserved mysticete skeleton was recovered from the Lower Pleistocene (1.77–1.95 Ma) of Tokyo, Japan, in 1961. The fossil consists of a cranium, mandibles, cervical, thoracic, lumbar and caudal vertebrae, chevrons, ribs, and forelimb bones, including scapula, humerus, radius, ulna and digit bones. Here, we describe and diagnose this fossil as a new species of the Eschrichtiidae, Eschrichtius akishimaensis sp. nov. This is the first fossil species of the genus Eschrichtius and suggests that at least two lineages represented by the modern species of Eschrichtius and the new species described here survived as late as the Early Pleistocene. This expands our knowledge of the paleodiversity of the eschrichtiids.

© by the Palaeontological Society of Japan
Toshiyuki Kimura, Yoshikazu Hasegawa, and Naoki Kohno "A New Species of the Genus Eschrichtius (Cetacea: Mysticeti) from the Early Pleistocene of Japan," Paleontological Research 22(1), 1-19, (1 January 2018). https://doi.org/10.2517/2017PR007
Received: 16 September 2016; Accepted: 5 March 2017; Published: 1 January 2018
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