Willungacetus (Willunga whale).
Named By: Pledge - 2005.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Cetacea, Aetiocetidae.
Species: W. aldingensis.
Diet: Uncertain, but likely to have been predatory.
Size: Unknown due to lack of fossil material.
Known locations: Australia, South Australia, Willunga.
Time period: Oligocene of the Palaeogene.
Fossil representation: Partial skull.
Willungacetus is both the oldest whale known from Australia, and the only member of the Aetiocetidae whale group. Willungacetus may have had teeth like other early whales, but other members of the group like Chonecetus had begun to develop baleen at roughly the same time that Willungacetus was swimming the oceans. Further fossil material is required to confirm if Willungacetus also had this adaptation, or even a combination of both baleen and teeth.
- A New Species of Early Oligocene Cetacean from Port Willunga, South Australia. - Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 51 (1): 123–133. - N. S. Pledge - 2005.