2.15" Fossil Primitive Whale (Pappocetus) Incisor Tooth - Morocco
This is a 2.15" long tooth (incisor) from Pappocetus lugardi, a type of protocetid cetacean (early whale ancestor). These rare teeth come from the Middle Eocene-age Aridal Formation, located in the Western Sahara near Gueran, Morocco. Both the root and crown are natural and have undergone no repair or restoration. Portions of the jaw bone are still attached to the root.
Pappocetus is a genus of extinct protocetid cetacean. Protocetids are considered to be one of the earliest examples of whale development during the time they were transitioning from land to sea. Fossil records indicate that they are Middle Eocene in age, existing after Pakicetus (earliest known whale) and prior to Zygorhiza (basilosaurid). These protocetids had become much more whale-like in appearance, featuring a more streamlined body with forelegs that had become paddle-like, and hind-limbs that were greatly reduced in size. Their robust teeth and root structure suggests that they were an aquatic carnivore, relying on smell and vision as their most important senses for hunting prey. It's unlikely that by this point they had developed echolocation systems used by modern whales.
Gueran, Boujdour, Western Sahara, Morocco