Data Archive 9

This is a Paleobiology Database Data Archive that includes all known published systematic statements regarding fossil cetaceans. Some accounts of recent cetacean systematics have been entered, but no effort has been made to be comprehensive for recent taxa. This archive also contains every known published occurrence of fossil Cetacea. If any known published account of a fossil cetacean seems to be missing from this archive, please contact the author using the information below, and report the missing occurrence, along with the relevant bibliographic information.

Scientific goals

This archive aims to compile all information about the identity and distribution of fossil cetacean taxa to facilitate any and all other studies regarding fossil Cetacea. The original goal of this compilation was to study the history of cetacean diversity in the broadest sense. This study was completed and published in August of 2007 (see below). All of the data are publicly available for use by anyone.


Entry of these data began in 2000 and is an ongoing process. New publications on cetacean taxonomy are entered as soon as the author is made aware of them.

  • M. D. Uhen and N. Pyenson. 2007. Diversity estimates, biases, and historiographic effects: Resolving cetacean diversity in the Tertiary. Palaeontologia Electronica 10:1-22.
  • M. D. Uhen and N. Pyenson. 2002. Evolution of Cetacean diversity. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3):116A.
  • M. D. Uhen. 2004. Form, function, and anatomy of Dorudon atrox (Mammalia, Cetacea): an archaeocete from the Middle to Late Eocene of Egypt. University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology Papers on Paleontology 34:1-222.
  • M. D. Uhen. 2002. Basilosaurids. W. F. Perrin, B. Würsig, and J. G. M. Thewissen, eds. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 78-81.
Contact information

Mark D. Uhen
George Mason University
Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences
MS 5F1
Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: muhen@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-5264
Fax: 703-993-1066

Download Uhen's cetacean data