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Temporal range: Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Pinnipedia
Family: Phocidae
Subfamily: Monachinae
Genus: Monotherium
van Beneden, 1876
  • M. delognii (type)
    van Beneden, 1876
  • M. affine
    van Beneden, 1876
  • M. aberratum
    van Beneden, 1876
  • M. rousseaui
    van Beneden, 1876
  • M. wymanii
    (Leidy, 1853)

Monotherium is an extinct genus of phocid belonging to the subfamily Monachinae. It is known from fossils found in the middle to late Miocene of Belgium and the east coast of the US.


Five species are currently recognized as valid: Monotherium aberratum, M. affine, M. delognii, M. rousseaui, and M. wymanii.[1][2][3] The first four are known for Tortonian-age deposits from Belgium, while M. wymanii is known from the Calvert Formation of Virginia.


  1. ^ P. J. Van Beneden. 1876. Les phoques fossiles du bassin d'Anvers. Bulletins de l'Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique 41:783-803
  2. ^ J. Leidy. 1854. The ancient fauna of Nebraska 1-126
  3. ^ C. E. Ray. 1976. Phoca wymani and other Tertiary seals (Mammalia: Phocidae) described from the eastern seaboard of North America. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 28:1-33