“D” is for Dissacus

“D” is for Dissacus

Dissacus is a member of the Family Mesonychidae, a group of carnivorous hoofed mammals.

Until recently, paleontologists thought that modern whales found their ancestry in the mesonychids due to the similar shape of their teeth. More recently collected fossils now place whales closer to hippos and other cloven-hoofed mammals.

Specimens of Dissacus at the Yale Peabody museum.
Lower jaw of Dissacus

Dissacus is not known from The Breaks, but is known from other localities of similar age in western North America.

Part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge.

For 4-4-13


  1. Patricia says:

    Great site. I love to learn new words and you sure have a great supply. Can’t promise I will remember them, but that is not what is important….. just as long as you do.
    Enjoy the Challenge!

    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice


  2. Elise Fallson says:

    I think that is so amazing that scientist can now determine that whales were actually closer to hippos. I need to catch up with your other posts. I have a quick question. In your work, do you do any 14C dating?

    A-Z participant blogging from Elise Fallson


    1. Penny says:

      I don’t do any 14C dating for my own research, nor do we do any in our lab. I do work a lot with 13C/12C ratios, though! Most of what I work with is much too old for 14C dating to work. When 14C dates are needed in my research, I depend on other people’s previous published ages.


      1. Elise Fallson says:

        Thanks Penny! I’m interested because I’m co-writing a paranormal book and was hoping to use 14C dating in there but I want to keep my facts straight. The fact that your specimens are too old to use 14C already tells me a lot! I’d love to pick your brain some more about this if you don’t mind.


      2. Penny says:

        Sure. I’ll send you an e-mail (to the address you supplied when commenting). There’s also some information about dating methods in this blog post here: LINK


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