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Ancalecetus simonsi

Ancalecetus is very similar to Dorudon but had very reduced forelimbs that were placed against the rib cage and could not have been functional paddles. Ancalecetus was therefore probably a very specialized feeder.


Ancalecetus simonsi


Gingerich and Uhen, 1996

Meaning of the generic name

Ankale, Gr., bent arm, and ketos, whale.

 Meaning of the specific name

 To honor Dr. Elwyn L. Simons, who discovered the type specimen.


Skull length: 85 cm, Length: 5 m


Holotype (CGM 42290): partial skeleton

Age and Distribution

Horizon: Birket Qarun Formation. Early Upper Eocene (Early Priabonian).
Locality: Wadi Hitan locality ZV-81, Western Fayum Province, Egypt.


Mammalia Cetacea Archaeoceti Dorudontidae Dorudontinae

  Further Reading

  P. D. Gingerich and M. D. Uhen. 1996. Ancalecetus simonsi, a new dorudontine archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the early late Eocene of Wadi Hitan, Egypt. Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan 29(13):359-401.


Skeletal reconstruction of Ancalecetus simonsi. Known elements in black. From Gingerich & Uhen, 1996.