We report on the find of a partial cetacean skeleton from Palaeogene strata exposed in the former ENCI-HeidelbergCement Group quarry at Sint-Pietersberg, south of Maastricht (southern Limburg, The Netherlands). The material available, collected in 1979, comprises a series of fragmentary vertebrae and ribs from the basal portion of the so-called ‘Laagpakket van Klimmen’ (Klimmen Member, Tongeren Formation; Middle North Sea Group), a shallow-marine unit of Late Priabonian (Late Eocene) to Early Rupelian (Early Oligocene) age that rests unconformably on biocalcarenites of latest Cretaceous (Late Maastrichtian) age. These associated skeletal remains, assumed to be from a single individual, constitute the first in-situ record of a Palaeogene (presumably Late Priabonian) cetacean from the Netherlands. The material is tentatively interpreted as a large-sized basilosaurid archaeocete, although the possibility that it represents an archaic mysticete cannot be ruled out entirely.

Whales, Basilosauridae, Klimmen Member, Upper Eocene, Europe
Cainozoic research

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Henk Jan van Vliet, Olivier Lambert, Mark Bosselaers, Anne S. Schulp, & John W. M. Jagt. (2019). A Palaeogene cetacean from Maastricht, southern Limburg (The Netherlands). Cainozoic research, 19(1), 95–113.