Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Further desmostylian remains from the upper Oligocene of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Brian Lee Beatty

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 68 (2) 2023: 373-378 doi:10.4202/app.00990.2022

The North Pacific rim was home to an extinct group of semiaquatic marine mammals, the order Desmostylia, which superficially resembled hippos. Desmostylians are an uncommon fossil vertebrate in most localities where they occur, and Oligocene taxa particularly so. Beyond the type dentition and two femora of Cornwallius sookensis, and the skull and postcrania of Behemotops proteus, both previously described from the region of Muir Creek locality of the upper Oligocene Sooke Formation of southern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, no other records from this site have been reported. Additional specimens of teeth have now been found in the Royal British Columbia Museum and Canadian Museum of Nature, including a long-forgotten and unreported paratype. In total, three additional teeth, one of B. proteus and two possibly belonging to C. sookensis, are reported here from its type locality. More importantly, the upper molar reported here, as well as UCMP 36078 from Baja California and USNM 181740 from Oregon, all resemble each other but should be considered as belonging to Cornwallius only with caution.

Brian Lee Beatty [; ORCID:], NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, Northern Blvd, Old Westbury, New York 11568, USA; National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (for details please see, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.