Skip to main content
×
×
Home

A new archaeocete and other marine mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from lower middle Eocene phosphate deposits of Togo

  • Philip D. Gingerich (a1) and Henri Cappetta (a2)
Abstract

Lutetian lower middle Eocene phosphate deposits of Kpogamé-Hahotoé in Togo yield new information about whales and sea cows in West Africa. Most specimens are individual teeth and bones, collected as isolated elements, but some appear to have been associated. Most are conservatively interpreted to represent a new 300–400 kg protocetid archaeocete, Togocetus traversei. This genus and species is distinctly primitive for a protocetid in retaining a relatively small mandibular canal in the dentary and retaining a salient metaconid on the lower first molar (M1), but it is derived relative to earlier archaeocetes in having large, dense, osteosclerotic tympanic bullae. Mandibular canal size and large dense bullae are not as tightly linked in terms of function in hearing as previously thought. Postcranially Togocetus traversei had many characteristics found in other semiaquatic protocetids: a relatively long neck, mobile shoulder, digitigrade manus, large pelvis, well-developed hind limbs, and feet specialized for swimming. Loss of a fovea on the head of the femur indicates loss of the teres ligament stabilizing the hip, which is a derived specialization consistent with life in water. Protocetid specimens distinctly smaller and larger than those of Togocetus traversei indicate the presence of at least three protocetids at Kpogamé. Sirenian vertebral and rib pieces indicate the presence of a protosirenid and a dugongid. Finally, a vertebral centrum and piece of humerus appear to represent a large land mammal. A diverse fauna of archaic whales and early sirenians inhabited the western margin of Africa and the eastern Atlantic Ocean as early as 46–44 million years before present, showing that both cetaceans and sirenians were widely distributed geographically by this time.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abel O. 1907. The genealogical history of the marine mammals. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1907:473496.
Adam P. J. 2009. Hind limb anatomy, p. 562565. In Perrin W. F., Würsig B., and Thewissen J. G. M. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Second Edition. Academic-Elsevier Press, San Diego.
Adnet S., Cappetta H., and Tabuce R. 2010. A middle-late Eocene vertebrate fauna (marine fish and mammals) from southwestern Morocco; preliminary report: age and palaeobiogeographical implications. Geological Magazine, 147:860870.
Andrews C. W. 1920. A description of new species of zeuglodont and of leathery turtle from the Eocene of southern Nigeria. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1919:309319.
Astibia H., Bardet N., Pereda-Suberbiola X., Payros A., Buffrénil V. d., Elorza J., Tosquella J., Berreteaga A., and Badiola A. 2010. New fossils of Sirenia from the middle Eocene of Navarre (western Pyrenees): the oldest west European sea cow record. Geological Magazine, 147:665673.
Bajpai S., Domning D. P., Das D. P., and Mishra V. P. 2009. A new middle Eocene sirenian (Mammalia, Protosirenidae) from India. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen, 252/3:257267.
Bajpai S. and Gingerich P. D. 1998. A new Eocene archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from India and the time of origin of whales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 95:1546415468.
Bajpai S., Thewissen J. G. M., Kapur V. V., Tiwari B. N., and Sahni A. 2006. Eocene and Oligocene sirenians (Mammalia) from Kachchh, India. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26:400410.
Berggren W. A. and Pearson P. N. 2005. A revised tropical to subtropical Paleogene planktonic foraminiferal zonation. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 35:279298.
Bourdon E. and Cappetta H. 2012. Pseudo-toothed birds (Aves, Odontopterygiformes) from the Eocene phosphate deposits of Togo, Africa. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32:965970.
Brisson M.-J. 1762. Regnum Animale in Classes IX. Distributum, sive Synopsis Methodica. Lugduni Batavorum, Theodorum Haak, Leiden, 296 p.
Cappetta H. and Traverse M. 1988. Une riche faune de sélachiens dans le bassin à phosphate de Kpogamé-Hahotoé (Éocène moyen du Togo): note préliminaire et précisions sur la structure et l'âge du gisement. Geobios, Lyon, 21:359365.
Domning D. P. 2001. The earliest known fully quadrupedal sirenian. Nature, 413:625627.
Domning D. P. and Gingerich P. D. 1994. Protosiren smithae, new species (Mammalia, Sirenia), from the late middle Eocene of Wadi Hitan, Egypt. Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 29:6987.
Domning D. P., Morgan G. S., and Ray C. E. 1982. North American Eocene sea cows (Mammalia: Sirenia). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 52:169.
Elouard P. 1981. Découverte d'un archéocète dans les environs de Kaolack. Notes Africaines, Dakar, 109:810.
Fraas E. 1904. Neue Zeuglodonten aus dem unteren Mitteleocän vom Mokattam bei Cairo. Geologische und Paläontologische Abhandlungen, Jena, 6:197220.
Gingerich P. D. 2010. Cetacea, p. 873899. In Werdelin L. and Sanders W. J. (eds.), Cenozoic Mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Gingerich P. D., Cappetta H., and Traverse M. 1992. Marine mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from the middle Eocene of Kpogamé-Hahotoé in Togo (abstract). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 12A:2930.
Gingerich P. D., Haq M., Khan I. H., and Zalmout I. S. 2001b. Eocene stratigraphy and archaeocete whales (Mammalia, Cetacea) of Drug Lahar in the eastern Sulaiman Range, Balochistan (Pakistan). Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 30:269319.
Gingerich P. D., Haq M., v. Koenigswald W., Sanders W. J., Smith B. H., and Zalmout I. S. 2009. New protocetid whale from the middle Eocene of Pakistan: birth on land, precocial development, and sexual dimorphism. PLoS ONE, 4 (e4366):120.
Gingerich P. D., Haq M., Zalmout I. S., Khan I. H., and Malkani M. S. 2001a. Origin of whales from early artiodactyls: hands and feet of Eocene Protocetidae from Pakistan. Science, 293:22392242.
Gingerich P. D., Raza S. M., Arif M., Anwar M., and Zhou X. 1994. New whale from the Eocene of Pakistan and the origin of cetacean swimming. Nature, 368:844847.
Gingerich P. D., Wells N. A., Russell D. E., and Shah S. M. I. 1983. Origin of whales in epicontinental remnant seas: new evidence from the early Eocene of Pakistan. Science, 220:403406.
Gray J. E. 1821. On the natural arrangement of vertebrose animals. London Medical Repository Monthly Journal and Review, 15:296310.
Halstead L. B. and Middleton J. A. 1974. New material of the archaeocete whale, Pappocetus lugardi Andrews, from the middle Eocene of Nigeria. Journal of Mining and Geology, 8:8185.
Halstead L. B. and Middleton J. A. 1976. Fossil vertebrates of Nigeria. Part II, 3.4, Archaeocete whale: Pappocetus lugardi Andrews, 1920. Nigerian Field, 41:131133.
Hautier L., Sarr R., Tabuce R., Lihoreau F., Adnet S., Domning D. P., Samb M., and Hameh P. M. 2012. First prorastomid sirenian from Senegal (western Africa) and the Old World origin of sea cows. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32:12181222.
Illiger C. 1811. Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium additis terminis zoographicis utriusque classis. C. Salfeld, Berlin, 301 p.
Jenkins F. A. and Camazine S. M. 1977. Hip structure and locomotion in ambulatory and cursorial carnivores. Journal of Zoology, London, 181:351370.
Johnson A. K., Rat P., and Lang J. 2000. Le bassin sédimentaire à phosphates du Togo (Maastrichtien-Eocène): stratigraphie, environnements et évolution. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 30:183200.
Kilinc M. and Cotillon P. 1977. Le gisement d'Hahotoé-Kpogamé (Tertiaire du Sud Togo) exemple de piège sédimentaire à sables phosphatés. Bulletin du Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, Deuxième Série, 1:4363.
Kumar K. and Sahni A. 1986. Remingtonocetus harudiensis, new combination, a middle Eocene archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from western Kutch, India. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 6:326349.
Madar S. I. 2007. The postcranial skeleton of early Eocene pakicetid cetaceans. Journal of Paleontology, 81:176200.
Madar S. I., Thewissen J. G. M., and Hussain S. T. 2002. Additional holotype remains of Ambulocetus natans (Cetacea, Ambulocetidae), and their implications for locomotion in early whales. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22:405422.
McLeod S. A. and Barnes L. G. 2008. A new genus and species of Eocene protocetid archaeocete whale (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series, 41:7398.
Mead J. G. and Fordyce R. E. 2009. The therian skull: a lexicon with emphasis on the odontocetes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 627:1248.
Norris K. S. 1968. The evolution of acoustic mechanisms in odontocete cetaceans, p. 297324. In Drake E. T. (ed.), Evolution and Environment. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Nummela S., Hussain S. T., and Thewissen J. G. M. 2006. Cranial anatomy of Pakicetidae (Cetacea, Mammalia). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26:746759.
Owen R. 1855. On the fossil skull of a mammal (Prorastomus sirenoides Owen) from the island of Jamaica. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 11:541543.
Owen R. 1875. On fossil evidences of a sirenian mammal (Eotherium aegyptiacum) from the nummulitic Eocene of the Mokattam cliffs, near Cairo. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 31:100105.
Sahni A. and Mishra V. P. 1975. Lower Tertiary vertebrates from western India. Palaeontological Society of India, Monographs, 3:148.
Slansky M. 1962. Contribution a l'étude géologique du bassin sédimentaire côtier du Dahomey et du Togo. Mémoires du Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, Orléans, 11:1270.
Slansky M. 1980. Géologie des phosphates sédimentaires. Mémoires du Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, Orléans, 114:192.
Stromer E. 1908. Die Archaeoceti des ägyptischen Eozäns. Beiträge zur Paläontologie und Geologie Österreich-Ungarns und des Orients, Vienna, 21:106178.
Stromer E. 1910. Reptilien- und Fischreste aus dem marinen Alttertiär von Südtogo (Westafrika). Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft, Monatsberichte, Stuttgart, 62:478507.
Thewissen J. G. M., Hussain S. T., and Arif M. 1994. Fossil evidence for the origin of aquatic locomotion in archaeocete whales. Science, 263:210212.
Thewissen J. G. M., Madar S. I., and Hussain S. T. 1996. Ambulocetus natans , an Eocene cetacean (Mammalia) from Pakistan. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt am Main, 191:186.
Vandenberge N., Hilgen F. J., and Speijer R. P. 2012. The Paleogene period, p. 855921. In Gradstein F. M., Ogg J. G., Schmitz M. D., and Ogg G. M. (eds.), The Geological Time Scale 2012. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Williams E. M. 1998. Synopsis of the earliest cetaceans: Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, and Protocetidae, p. 128. In Thewissen J. G. M. (ed.), The Emergence of Whales: Evolutionary Patterns in the Origin of Cetacea. Plenum, New York.
Zalmout I. S. and Gingerich P. D. 2012. Late Eocene sea cows (Mammalia, Sirenia) from Wadi Al Hitan in the Western Desert, Fayum, Egypt. University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology, 37:1158.
Zalmout I. S., Haq M., and Gingerich P. D. 2003. New species of Protosiren (Mammalia, Sirenia) from the early middle Eocene of Balochistan (Pakistan). Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 31:7987.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Paleontology
  • ISSN: 0022-3360
  • EISSN: 1937-2337
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-paleontology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 10 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 109 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.