Waipatia

Name: Waipatia.
Phonetic: Way-pat-e-ah.
Named By: R.‭ ‬E.‭ ‬Fordyce‭ ‬-‭ ‬1994.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Cetacea,‭ ‬Odontoceti,‭ ‬Waipatiidae.
Species: W.‭ ‬maerewhenua‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Holotype skull about‭ ‬60‭ ‬centimetres long. Body length roughly estimated to be about 3.2 meters long for the holotype.
Known locations: New Zealand,‭ ‬North Otago‭ ‬-‭ ‬Otekaikae Limestone Formation.
Time period: Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Skull and lower jaws.

       Though only based upon the description of a single skull,‭ ‬Waipatia has still been one of the more significant discoveries regarding our understanding of the early evolution of dolphins.‭ ‬This is because the skull of Waipatia represents one of the first good examples of actual bones and not just teeth.‭ ‬This has also led to the creation of a new group called the Waipatiidae.‭ ‬Waipatia is also thought to have had a rudimentary echolocating ability,‭ ‬based upon features present on the jaw bones that are similar to modern toothed whales.‭

Further reading
-‭ ‬Waipatia maerewhenua,‭ ‬New Genus and New Species,‭ ‬Waipatiidae,‭ ‬New Family,‭ ‬an archaic late Oligocene dolphin‭ (‬Cetacea:‭ ‬Odontoceti:‭ ‬Platanistoidea‭) ‬from New Zealand.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Contributions in Marine Mammal Paleontology Honoring Frank C.‭ ‬Whitmore Jr.,‭ ‬Proceedings of the San Diego Society of Natural History‭ ‬29:147-176.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬E.‭ ‬Fordyce‭ ‬-‭ ‬1994.



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