Two protocetid whale vertebrae, here referred to “Eocetuswardii, have been recovered from the riverbed of the Pamunkey River in east-central Virginia. Neither bone was found in situ, but both were found with lumps of lithified matrix cemented to their surfaces. Most of this matrix was removed and processed for microfossils. Specimens of dinoflagellates were successfully recovered and this flora clearly demonstrates that both vertebrae came from the middle Eocene Piney Point Formation, which crops out above and below river level in the area where the bones were discovered. These vertebrae are the oldest whale remains reported from Virginia and are as old as any cetacean remains known from the western hemisphere.

You do not currently have access to this article.