Although modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are known to be highly specialized toothed whales that predominantly feed at great depths upon benthic and benthopelagic prey, only limited palaeontological data document this major ecological shift.We report on a ziphiid–fish assemblage fromthe Late Miocene of Peru thatwe interpret as the first direct evidence of a predator–prey relationship between a ziphiid and epipelagic fish. Preserved in a dolomite concretion, a skeleton of the stem ziphiid Messapicetus gregarius was discovered together with numerous skeletons of a clupeiform fish closely related to the epipelagic extant Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax). Based on the position of fish individuals along the head and chest regions of the ziphiid, the lack of digestion marks on fish remains and the homogeneous size of individuals, we propose that this assemblage results fromthe death of thewhale (possibly via toxin poisoning) shortly after the capture of prey from a single school. Together with morphological data and the frequent discovery of fossil crown ziphiids in deep-sea deposits, this exceptional record supports the hypothesis that only more derived ziphiids were regular deep divers and that the extinction of epipelagic forms may coincide with the radiation of true dolphins.

No deep diving: Evidence of predation on epipelagic fish for a stem beaked whale from the late Miocene of Peru

COLLARETA, ALBERTO
Secondo
;
LANDINI, WALTER;BIANUCCI, GIOVANNI
Ultimo
2015-01-01

Abstract

Although modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are known to be highly specialized toothed whales that predominantly feed at great depths upon benthic and benthopelagic prey, only limited palaeontological data document this major ecological shift.We report on a ziphiid–fish assemblage fromthe Late Miocene of Peru thatwe interpret as the first direct evidence of a predator–prey relationship between a ziphiid and epipelagic fish. Preserved in a dolomite concretion, a skeleton of the stem ziphiid Messapicetus gregarius was discovered together with numerous skeletons of a clupeiform fish closely related to the epipelagic extant Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax). Based on the position of fish individuals along the head and chest regions of the ziphiid, the lack of digestion marks on fish remains and the homogeneous size of individuals, we propose that this assemblage results fromthe death of thewhale (possibly via toxin poisoning) shortly after the capture of prey from a single school. Together with morphological data and the frequent discovery of fossil crown ziphiids in deep-sea deposits, this exceptional record supports the hypothesis that only more derived ziphiids were regular deep divers and that the extinction of epipelagic forms may coincide with the radiation of true dolphins.
2015
Lambert, Olivier; Collareta, Alberto; Landini, Walter; Post, Klaas; Ramassamy, Benjamin; Di Celma, Claudio; Urbina, Mario; Bianucci, Giovanni
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Lambert et al_2015_predation on epipelagic fish for stem beaked whale.pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Descrizione: articolo principale
Tipologia: Versione finale editoriale
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 1.39 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.39 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Lambert et al_2015_predation on epipelagic fish for stem beaked whale (supp mat).pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 4.41 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.41 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/760472
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 9
  • Scopus 72
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 67
social impact