Named By: P. D. Gingerich, M. Haq, I. S. Zalmout, I. H. Khan & M. S. Malkan- - 2001.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Cetacea, Archaeoceti, Protocetidae.
Species: A. clavis (type).
Size: Skull about 58 centimetres long.
Known locations: Pakistan - Domanda Formation.
Time period: Lutetian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Complete skull and partial post cranial remains.
was an important transisitional find because individuals of this genus
still possessed artiodactyl-like ankles. In modern palaeontology
whales have long been thought to have descended from land living
artiodactyl ancestors, specifically anthracotheres, and the
observation of artiodactyl ankles in a primitive whale is further proof
of this theory.
Although a whale ancestor, Artiocetus still possessed four limbs, though it is already clear that adaptations for a more marine lifestyle were being made at the expense of terrestrial adaptations. Artiocetus would have been similar to other primitive whale ancestors such as Rodhocetus.
- Origin of whales from early artiodactyls: Hands and feet of Eocene Protocetidae from Pakistan, P. D. Gingerich, M. Haq, I. S. Zalmout, I. H. Khan & M. S. Malkan- - 2001.