Coronodon

Name: Coronodon ‭(‬Corona/Crown tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Co-ro-na-don.
Named By: J.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Geisler,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬W.‭ ‬Boessenecker,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Brown‭ & ‬B.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Beatty‭ ‬-‭ ‬2017.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Cetacea,‭ ‬Mysticeti.
Species: C.‭ ‬havensteini‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain,‭ ‬refer to main text.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬South Carolina‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ashley Formation.
Time period: Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Skull and jaws.




       At the time of the genus description Coronodon caused a lot of excitement,‭ ‬as this genus represent one of the oldest baleen whales in the fossil record.‭ ‬Baleen whales,‭ ‬also known as mystecetids,‭ ‬certainly had ancestors that were active predators of other sea creatures.‭ ‬The teeth of Coronodon are shaped in such a way that they could slice through the flesh of large prey,‭ ‬but possibly also trap smaller organisms like krill.‭ ‬This is because the teeth of Coronodon are not‭ ‬straight cutting blades,‭ ‬but have cusps that look like smaller teeth studded along the edge of one large single tooth
       This appearance gives rise to the name Coronodon which means‭ ‘‬crown tooth‭’‬,‭ ‘‬corona‭’ ‬being the Latin work for‭ ‘‬crown‭’‬.‭ ‬Coronodon is not the only prehistoric whale to have teeth that look like this,‭ ‬but the appearance of Coronodon fossils in‭ ‬Oligocene aged deposits,‭ ‬suggests that Coronodon may have been amongst the first of its kind to adapt them.‭ ‬Later whales would take the development further and become exclusive filter feeders.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Current Biology‭ ‬27:1-7.‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Geisler,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬W.‭ ‬Boessenecker,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Brown‭ & ‬B.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Beatty‭ ‬-‭ ‬2017



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