Named By: Mark D. Uhen & Philip D. Gingerich - 2001.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Cetacea, Basilosauridae.
Species: C. healyorum (type).
Known locations: USA, South Carolina - Tupelo Bay Formation (initial description cited the Cross Formation which is now placed as a member of the Tupelo Bay Formation).
Time period: Bartonian to Priarbonian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and post cranial skeleton from a possible sub-adult.
exciting find, the genus name of this whale is a reference to the
golden colouration of the bones of the type specimen. It is important
to note that should further fossilised bones of this genus be
discovered they might not have the same colouration since the colour of
holotype bones was due to the mineral content of the rocks that they
were preserved in.
Chrysocetus has been identified as a basilosaurid whale, a group of oceanic predatory whales that include genera such as Zygorhiza, Dorudon, Ancalecetus, and of course the type genus and most famous of all of these, Basilosaurus. Individual Chrysocetus would of course also have been expected to be apex predators that targeted everything from fish to other marine mammals.
- New genus of dorudontine archaeocete (Cetacea) from the middle-to-late Eocene of South Carolina - Marine Mammal Science 17 (1): 1–34. - Mark D. Uhen & Philip D. Gingerich - 2001.