Temporal range: Late Oligocene
|†Mammalodon colliveri (type)
Mammalodon is an extinct genus of archaic baleen whales, although it lacked baleen and retained teeth. It was discovered in 1932 in the Jan Juc Formation on the small Bird Rock island south of the Point Lillias peninsula in Torquay, Victoria in Australia ( , paleocoordinates ). It is one of two genera in the family Mammalodontidae.
Mammalodon is a mix of archaeocete plesiomorphies (retained primitive traits) and mysticete synapomorphies (traits shared with more derived taxa), such as a short rostrum, reduced premaxillae, and orbits directed anterodorsally — defining features of mysticete.
It had a short face and a delicate premaxilla with only one or two incisors, and the lateral rim of the internal auditory meatus was lengthened towards the brain case which formed a longitudinal ridge.
As with the closely related genus Janjucetus, Mammalodon lacked baleen, instead possessing well-developed teeth. As such, it was not able to filter-feed in the same manner as extant baleen whales, making its diet and ecological niche a mystery. As the teeth are widely spaced, they may have developed a method of filter-feeding unlike that of other whales. It may have been a bottom filter feeder, its blunt snout helping to suck up organisms from the sea floor.
- Fitzgerald, Erich M. G. (2006). "A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales". Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 2955–2963. doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3664. PMC 1639514. PMID 17015308.
- Fitzgerald, Erich M. G. (2010). "The morphology and systematics of Mammalodon colliveri (Cetacea: Mysticeti), a toothed mysticete from the Oligocene of Australia". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158 (2): 367–476. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00572.x.
- Israel, Brett (December 2009). "Early Mini-Whale Slurped up Mud to Find Hidden Prey". Discover Magazine. Retrieved October 2013.
- Pritchard, B. G. (1939). "On the discovery of a fossil whale in the older Tertiaries of Torquay, Victoria". The Victorian Naturalist 55 (9): 151–159. Retrieved October 2013. Lay summary (October 2013).