Visn. Nac. Akad. Nauk Ukr. 2016. (10):51-59
https://doi.org/10.15407/visn2016.10.051

P.E. Goldin
Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,Kyiv

UNDERGROUND WHALES OF UKRAINE

At present time, only three cetacean species inhabit Ukrainian waters of the Black Sea, two dolphins and the harbour porpoise which is the smallest present day cetacean in the world. However, in fossil deposits of many Ukrainian regions there are dozens of species of all groups and ages, beginning from the Eocene. One of the most primitive fully aquatic cetaceans, Basilotritus, nearly 40 million years old, was described from Ukraine. A great diversity of baleen and toothed whales with many endemic forms was discovered from the Middle and Late Eocene, between 14 and 8 million years ago (then the Central and Eastern Paratethys) that coincided with the world maximum in diversity of these groups. Among cetaceans of that time, there were a dwarf dolphin Microphocaena and dwarf baleen whales from the family of Cetotheriidae. A number of cetacean records drastically decreased in deposits layered after the forming of the Mediterranean and Black Seas in present boundaries because many of them are located below the sea level. However, some fragments were taken by humans into terrestrial localities, and now they are found in archaeological sites. Generally, the diversity of Tethyan fossil cetaceans includes almost all major groups.
Keywords: cetaceans, whales, dolphins, Tethys, Paratethys, Basilotritus, Cetotheriidae.

 

Language of article: ukrainian

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