Bridging two oceans: small toothed cetaceans (Odontoceti) from the Late Miocene Chagres Formation, eastern Caribbean (Colon, Panama)

Aldo Benites-Palomino, Jorge Vélez-Juarbe, Carlos De Gracia, Carlos Jaramillo

    Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


    Fossil cetaceans are often found in Miocene marine outcrops across the globe. However, because this record is not homogeneous, the dissimilar increase in occurrences, along with the sampling bias has created regions with extensive records and others with great scarcity. Among these, the Caribbean has remained enigmatic due to the lack of well-preserved cetacean fossils. Here, we report new Caribbean fossil cetaceans from the Upper Miocene Chagres Formation exposed along Piña beach, Eastern Panama, including a scaphokogiine kogiid, an Acrophyseter-like physeteroid and the phocoenid Piscolithax. Along with previous records of the iniid Isthminia panamensis and the kogiine Nanokogia isthmia, the Chagres cetacean fauna shows some similarities with other Late Miocene cetacean communities such as the Californias in the North Pacific, although their closest affinities lie with the eastern South Pacific Pisco Formation, Peru. Such findings indicate that though deep and intermediate Caribbean-Pacific water interchange was reduced by the Middle Miocene due to the shallowing of the Central American Seaway, shallow waters marine connection that persisted until the Pliocene might have facilitated the dispersal of coastal species across both sides of the Isthmus.

    FachzeitschriftBiology Letters
    PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 21 Juni 2023

    ÖFOS 2012

    • 105118 Paläontologie


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