Eurhinodelphis

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Eurhinodelphis
Temporal range: Middle Miocene–Late Miocene
Eurhinodelphis longirostris.jpg
Skeleton of E. longirostris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Eurhinodelphinidae
Genus: Eurhinodelphis
Du Bus, 1867
Species
  • E. cocheuteuxi (type)
  • E. longirostris

Eurhinodelphis ("well-nosed dolphin") is an extinct genus of Miocene cetacean. Its fossils have been found in France, Belgium, Maryland and California.

Description[edit]

Reconstructions of Macrodelphinus and E. longirostris

Eurhinodelphis was around 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length. In most respects, it would have looked like a modern dolphin or porpoise, but its upper jaw was elongated into a sharp tip similar to that of a swordfish. Most likely, Eurhinodelphis used it in a similar manner to swordfish, hitting or stabbing prey. It also had long, sharp teeth.[1]

Compared with earlier fossil species, Eurhinodelphis had complex ears, suggesting that it already hunted by echolocation like modern whales. Its brain was also asymmetrical, a trait found in modern dolphins, and possibly associated with the complexities of navigating its environment.[1]

Eurhinodelphis was closely related to the orca-sized Macrodelphinus.

History[edit]

Eurhinodelphis was first described by B. Du Bus in a paper read before the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium on 17 December, 1867. O. Abel studied and illustrated the European species in a series of articles published in 1901, 1902 and 1905; subsequently, fossil skulls found in the Calvert Formation in Maryland and Virginia could be attributed to this genus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 232. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 

External links[edit]