Pachyacanthus is an extinct genus of toothed whale that lived about 15.97 to 2.589 million years ago (Miocene and Pliocene). It contains the single species Pachyacanthus suessi. The genus is known from European deposits in Hungary, Kazakhstan, Austria and Italy.[1][2] The type specimen consisted of a few fragments of a rostrum and two fragmentary tympanic bullae. Skeletons from the Sarmatian (Middle Miocene) of Austria did not include skulls.[3]

Temporal range: Miocene-Pliocene, 15.97–2.588 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Platanistidae
Genus: Pachyacanthus
Brandt, 1871
P. suessi
Binomial name
Pachyacanthus suessi
Brandt, 1871


The genus is related to modern South Asian river dolphin and is distinguished by pachyostosis in the spinous processes of the postcervical vertebrae.[4]


The locations of discovery are thought to have corresponded to well-oxygenated, shallow water sustaining seagrasses similar to today's Mediterranean neptune grass.[5]


  1. ^ "†Pachyacanthus suessii Brandt 1871 (toothed whale)". The Paleotological database (PBDB).
  2. ^ Domning, Daryl P. (10 Jan 2009). "The readaptation of Eocene sirenians to life in water". Historical Biology. 14, 2000 (1–2): 115–119. doi:10.1080/10292380009380559. S2CID 86603486.
  3. ^ "Revision of the genus Pachyacanthus Brandt, 1871 (Mammalia: Cetacea: Odontoceti)". Docplayer.
  4. ^ Kazár, Emese (2010-07-12). "E. Kazár. 2010. Revision of the genus Pachyacanthus Brandt, 1871 (Mammalia: Cetacea: Odontoceti)". Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, Serie. 112: 537–567. JSTOR 41701767.
  5. ^ Garassino, A.; Pasini, G.; de Angeli, A.; Charbonnier, S.; Famiani, F.; Baldanza, A.; Bizzari, R. (2012). "The decapod community from the Early Pliocene (Zanclean) of "La Serra" quarry (San Miniato, Pisa, Toscana, central Italy): sedimentology, systematics, and palaeoenvironmental implications" (PDF). Annales de Paléontologie. 98: 1–62. doi:10.1016/j.annpal.2012.02.001. ISSN 0753-3969.