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Abstract

An isolated, deciduous incisor of an archaic whale found in the upper part of the La Meseta Formation (Telm7) is tentatively assigned to the Archaeoceti. The strata from which the tooth was recovered are of Late Eocene (Priabonian) age, and previous reports indicate that they contain the remains of Dorudontinae (Archaeoceti) and Llanocetidae (Mysticeti). The tooth is similar in shape, size and ornamentation to the milk teeth of Zygorhiza. The enamel is mostly prismatic, with prism sheats generally open, except for the outermost layer, which is aprismatic. The Schmelzmuster consists of radial and decussating enamel types. The decussating zone has distinct Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB), usually consisting of 10–12 prisms. It is bordered by an external zone built of radial enamel extending for 22% of the enamel thickness and an internal, starting zone, with less developed HSB, occupying 9% of the enamel thickness. The interprismatic matrix is parallel to the prism direction. An archaeocete origin of the tooth is suggested by its enamel features, typical for the group. However, additional study of the Llanocetidae enamel structure is needed for final identification.
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