Mounted skeleton of Dorudon atrox in the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main, copyright Eva Kröcher.

Belongs within: Cetaceamorpha.
Contains: Mysticeti, Odontoceti.

The Basilosauridae are a group of stem-cetaceans known from the upper Eocene (Barnes et al. 1985). This group is probably paraphyletic to the crown Cetacea.

Basilosauridae [Dorudontidae, Hydrarchidae, Prozeuglodontidae, Stegorhinidae, Zeuglodontidae]
    |  i. s.: Pontogeneus Leidy 1852 G03
    |           `--P. brachyspondylus (Müller 1849) [=Zeuglodon brachyspondylus] BM78
    |         Ancalecetus Gingerich & Uhen 1996 G03
    |         Basiloterus Gingerich et al. 1997 G03
    |         Chrysocetus Uhen & Gingerich 2001 G03
    |         Zeuglodon cetoides A05
    |--+--Basilosaurinae [Zeuglodontinae] BDR85
    |  |    |--Platyosphys Kellogg 1936 BM78, WS76
    |  |    |    `--P. paulsonii (Brandt 1873) BDR85
    |  |    |--Prozeuglodon Andrews 1906 BM78
    |  |    |    `--*P. atrox Andrews 1906 G92 [incl. Zeuglodon intermedius Dart 1923 G92, Dorudon intermedius BM78]
    |  |    `--Basilosaurus Harlan 1843 SOG09, D07
    |  |         |--B. cetoides (Harlan 1845) SB02
    |  |         |--B. hussaini D07
    |  |         `--B. isis (Beadnell in Andrews 1904) G92 (see below for synonymy)
    |  `--Cetacea [Autoceta] SOG09
    |       |--Mysticeti SOG09
    |       `--Odontoceti SOG09
    `--Dorudontinae BDR85
         |--Zygorhiza True 1908 BM78, G03
         |    `--Z. kochii (Reichenbach 1847) SB02
         |--Saghacetus Gingerich 1992 G92
         |    `--*S. osiris (Dames 1894) G92 (see below for synonymy)
         `--Dorudon Gibbes 1845 SOG09, G92 [=Durodon (l. c.) G92; incl. Doryodon Cope 1868 G92]
              |--*D. serratus Gibbes 1845 G92
              |--D. atrox G03
              `--D. stromeri Kellogg 1936 SB02 [=Prozeuglodon stromeri G92]

Basilosaurus isis (Beadnell in Andrews 1904) G92 [=Zeuglodon isis G92, Protocetus isis BM78, Prozeuglodon isis BM78]

*Saghacetus osiris (Dames 1894) G92 [=Zeuglodon osiris BM78, Z. (Dorudon) osiris BM78; incl. Z. elliotsmithii Dart 1923 G92, Dorudon elliotsmithii BM78, Z. sensitivus Dart 1923 G92, D. sensitivus BM78, Z. zitteli Stromer 1903 G92, D. zitteli BM78, Protocetus zitteli BM78]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A05] Ameghino, F. 1905. Les édentés fossiles de France et d'Allemagne. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 175–250.

[BDR85] Barnes, L. G., D. P. Domning & C. E. Ray. 1985. Status of studies on fossil marine mammals. Marine Mammal Science 1 (1): 15–53.

[BM78] Barnes, L. G., & E. Mitchell. 1978. Cetacea. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 582–602. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[G92] Gingerich, P. D. 1992. Marine mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from the Eocene of Gebel Mokattam and Fayum, Egypt: stratigraphy, age, and paleoenvironments. University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology 30: i–ix, 1–84.

[G03] Gingerich, P. D. 2003. Land-to-sea transition in early whales: evolution of Eocene Archaeoceti (Cetacea) in relation to skeletal proportions and locomotion of living semiaquatic mammals. Paleobiology 29 (3): 429–454.

[SB02] Sanders, A. E., & L. G. Barnes. 2002. Paleontology of the Late Oligocene Ashley and Chandler Bridge Formations of South Carolina, 3: Eomysticetidae, a new family of primitive mysticetes (Mammalia: Cetacea). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 93: 313–356.

[SOG09] Spaulding, M., M. A. O'Leary & J. Gatesy. 2009. Relationships of Cetacea (Artiodactyla) among mammals: increased taxon sampling alters interpretation of key fossils and character evolution. PLoS One 4 (9): e7062.

[WS76] Whitmore, F. C., Jr & A. E. Sanders. 1976. Review of the Oligocene Cetacea. Systematic Zoology 25 (4): 304–320.

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