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Temporal range: Early Eocene, 50 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Pakicetidae
Genus: Nalacetus
Thewissen & Hussain 1998
N. ratimitus
Binomial name
Nalacetus ratimitus

Nalacetus is an extinct pakicetid early whale, fossils of which have been found in Lutetian red beds in Punjab, Pakistan (33°36′N 72°12′E / 33.6°N 72.2°E / 33.6; 72.2, paleocoordinates 14°18′N 68°18′E / 14.3°N 68.3°E / 14.3; 68.3).[1][2] Nalacetus lived in a fresh water environment, was amphibious, and carnivorous. It was considered monophyletic by Cooper, Thewissen & Hussain 2009.[1] It was said to be wolf-sized and one of the earliest forms of the order Cetacea.

Nalacetus is known mostly from dental remains from the Lutetian of the Kala Chitta Hill, Punjab, Pakistan:[3]

  • H-GSP[Explain 1] 96055, right palatal fragment with P4 and M1−2.
  • H-GSP 30306, right maxillary fragment with P2 and partial P3−4; a fragmentary mandible with fragmented teeth together with some isolated lower teeth.

In the cheek teeth of Pakicetus, the protocone lobe increases from the first molar to the third. In Nalacetus, in contrast, the protocone lobe is larger in the first molar than in the second.[3]


  1. ^ Howard University-Geological Survey of Pakistan Project
  1. ^ a b Nalacetus in the Paleobiology Database. Retrieved June 2013.
  2. ^ H-GSP 62 (Eocene of Pakistan) in the Paleobiology Database. Retrieved June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Cooper, Thewissen & Hussain 2009, pp. 1294–6


  • Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Thewissen, J. G. M.; Hussain, S. T. (2009). "New middle Eocene archaeocetes (Cetacea: Mammalia) from the Kuldana Formation of northern Pakistan" (PDF). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 104 (4): 1289–99. doi:10.1671/039.029.0423. OCLC 506008976. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-14. Retrieved June 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  • Thewissen, J. G. M.; Hussain, S. T. (1998). "Systematic review of the Pakicetidae, Early and middle Eocene Cetacea (Mammalia) from Pakistan and India". Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum. 34: 220–38.