Dorudon

Name: Dorudon ‭(‬Spear tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Door-oo-don.
Named By: Gibbes‭ ‬-‭ ‬1845.
Synonyms: Basilosaurus serratus, Dorudon intermedius, Dorudon stromeri, Doryodon serratus, Prozeuglodon stromeri, Zeuglodon intermedius, Zeuglodon serratum, Zeuglodon serratus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Cetacea,‭ ‬Archaeoceti,‭ ‬Basilosauridae.
Species: D.‭ ‬atrox,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬serratus.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Egypt and the USA,‭ ‬together hinting at a broad distribution.
Time period: Bartonian to Priabonian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens,‭ ‬including juveniles.

       Dorudon is a good example of some of the many primitive whales that were swimming in the world‭’‬s oceans during the Eocene period.‭ ‬As an early cetacean,‭ ‬Dorudon was a dedicated predator of other marine creatures that may have included everything from fish to other marine mammals.‭ ‬Dorudon itself does bear a strong resemblance to the much larger Basilosaurus that was also swimming in the same waters and at the same time as Dorudon.‭ ‬This led to early speculation about Dorudon actually representing juvenile specimens of Basilosaurus‭; ‬however more in depth study as well as the discoveries of actual Dorudon juveniles has since quashed this theory.
       Juvenile Dorudon‭ (‬which would have been called calves like other juvenile whales‭) ‬fossils have been seen to have tooth marks on them that seem to have been caused by the much larger Basilosaurus.‭ ‬This is evidence for a clear predator prey relationship where while Dorudon were predators,‭ ‬they in turn where preyed upon by other bigger predators.‭ ‬This relationship was well illustrated in the episode Whale Killer of the BBC documentary series Walking with Beasts.‭ ‬Basilosaurus was not the only threat to Dorudon however as giant sharks like ‭ C. ‬angustidens were also hunting in the world‭’‬s oceans.

More information on these whales can be found on their respective pages; 1 - Pakicetus,
2 - Ambulocetus, 3 - Rodhocetus, 4 - Dorudon, 5, Brygmophyseter, 6 - Diorocetus.

Further reading
- Description of the teeth of a new fossil animal found in the Green Sand of South Carolina. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2(9):254-256 - R. W. Gibbes - 1845.
- On the fossil genus Basilosaurus, Harlan, (Zeuglodon, Owen,) with a notice of specimens from the Eocene Green Sand of South Carolina - Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1 - Robert Wilson Gibbes - 1847.
- A Descriptive Catalogue of the Tertiary Vertebrata of the Fayűm, Egypt. - London: British Museum (Natural History). 26 pp. 255–257. - C. W. Andrews - 1906.
- Marine Mammals (Cetacean and Sirenia) from the Eocene of Gebel Mokattam and Fayum, Egypt: Stratigraphy, Age, and Paleoenvironments - University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology 30: 1–84 - P. D. Gingerich - 1992.
- Form, Function, and Anatomy of Dorudon atrox (Mammalia, Cetacea): An Archaeocete from the Middle to Late Eocene of Egypt - Papers on Paleontology (University of Michigan) 34. - Mark D. Uhen - 2004.



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