Abstract

The Indian subcontinent is widely considered to be the birthplace of whales (Cetacea), and the middle Eocene Harudi Formation of Kutch has long been known to be a major source of early whales. The Kutch cetaceans are of critical importance in understanding the evolutionary transition of whales from land to sea. Strontium isotope analysis of marine biogenic carbonates from the Harudi Formation was conducted to obtain a numerical age of the whale-bearing strata. Although the measured 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.707742 to 0.707764) correspond to two distinct age clusters of 46–47.5 Ma or 41–42.5 Ma, we prefer the latter, late Lutetian, age cluster.

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