Named By: L. S. Russel - 1968.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Cetacea, Aetiocetidae.
Species: C. sookensis (type), C. goedertorum.
Size: Skull about 40 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, British Columbia - Sooke Formation, and the USA, Washington - Pysht Formation.
Time period: Chattian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skulls and partial post cranial remains.
Chonecetus is a whale genus that is usually attributed to the Aetiocetidae a group of primitive ancestors of Baleen whales. There has however been speculation that Chonecetus might be a member of the Archaeoceti, a more ancient group of toothed predatory whales that included genera such as Dorudon and Basilosaurus. If the latter interpretation turns out to be correct, then Chonecetus would actually be a very late surviving member of this group.
- A new cetacean from the Oligocene Sooke Formation of Vancouver Island, British Colombia. - Canadian Journal of Earth Science 5:929-933 - L. S. Russel - 1968.
- Classification and distribution of Oligocene Aetiocetidae (Mammalia; Cetacea; Mysticeti) from western North America and Japan - The Island Arc 3(4):392-431 - L. G. Barnes, M. Kimura, H. Furusawa & H. Sawamura - 1995.