Article: Phylogenetic affinities of the long-snouted dolphin Eurhinodelphis (Cetacea, Odontoceti) from the Miocene of Antwerp, Belgium
A new skull belonging to the species Eurhinodelphis cocheteuxi (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Eurhinodelphinidae), found in the upper Lower-Middle Miocene of Antwerp (Belgium, southern margin of the North Sea Basin) associated with its ear bones (periotic, tympanic bullae, malleus and incus), is the basis of a redescription and systematic revision of the species. This species is then used as an isolated taxon in a phylogenetic study of extinct and extant odontocetes. The main results of the cladistic analyses are: a sister-group relationship between E. cocheteuxi and the extant family Ziphiidae (beaked whales), and a more basal position of the superfamily Physeteroidea (sperm whales) in the tree. The possible paraphyly of the family Eurhinodelphinidae needs further investigation. The results are compared with the most recent morphological and molecular analyses. The species E. bossi, described in the Miocene of Maryland (east coast of the USA, Calvert Formation) is recognized in the Miocene of Belgium for the first time.