Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
01 Aug 2008
 | 01 Aug 2008

First record of the archaeocete whale family Protocetidae from Europe

M. D. Uhen and H.-J. Berndt

Abstract. We describe a specimen of Eocetus sp. from the middle Eocene Stockletten Formation of Rohrdorf, Bavaria, Germany, consisting of a lumbar vertebral body and transverse processes. This specimen constitutes the first record of Eocetus, and the first confirmed record of the family Protocetidae from Europe. This new observation further supports the hypothesis that protocetids were highly aquatic and that their method of aquatic locomotion was sufficient for them to spread far from their center of origin in Indo-Pakistan.