Fossil Friday 9/25/15: A whale rib


UF 247257, the partial rib of a whale. Photo © VP FLMNH.

For this week’s Fossil Friday, we are going to look at a partial rib of a cetacean. This specimen was found by Dr. Douglas Jones at the Las Lomas site in the Gatún Formation and is late Miocene in age. According to the reference below, based on the size and shape of the rib, it is more likely that it belonged to an odontocete, or toothed whale (ex. dolphin, orca), rather than a mysticete, or baleen whale (ex. humpback whale).


A photo of a right whale showing the baleen, which is used for filter feeding. Photo © Mason Weinrich, Whale Center of New England.

To learn more about this specimen and other marine mammals from Panama, check out the reference below!


Uhen, M., A. Coates, C. Jaramillo, C. Montes, C. Pimeinto, A. Rincon, N. Strong, and J. Velez-Juarbe. 2010. Marine mammals from the Miocene of Panama. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, p. 167, vol. 30.


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