Tangutheria is an order of aquatic cancridonts which resemble whales. Tangutheria means "touch-beast", which refers to the fact that they navigate their environment through ampullae. They are mostly filter feeders; feeding on microscopic organisms and other edible particles. This highly diverse clade contains a hundred species and twenty genera; which varies from small scavengers to ginormous filter-feeders that weigh more than two hundred fifty tonnes. To accommodate an aquatic lifestyle, their body is streamlined and their limbs have turned into flippers, which purpose is not to propel them during locomotion, but to stabilize them whilst they move. Unlike marine mammals, tangutheres move via lateral undulation, like fish). And their ossacaeli (which are similar to spiracles) had disappeared during their evolution; and their nostrils are now located at the top of its head, protected by the nasal flap, which is derived from their ancestor’s crests. Unlike most groups, they lack eyes. Instead, they use their ampullae to navigate their surroundings and to locate the nerve impulses of their predators. They have a vomeronasal organ; which detects pheromones, chemical messengers that carry information about an individual of the same species. During the mating season, males will smell the female's urine.
FAMILY MALLEUCEPHALIDAE (Toxocephs)Edit
The family malleucephalidae contains five species, ranging from the size of a minke whale to a humpback whale. Their scientific name malleucephalidae means "hammerhead" in Latin, which refers to their broad hammer-shaped head. They possess a frill (which is covered in ampullae) that extends from the tip of its head to its neck. They are solitary creatures, unlike other families which live in family groups. Due to the abundance of microscopic organisms (and other edible particles) they do not maintain territories. During the mating season bulls will neck (in a similar manner with giraffes) to establish dominance and to mate. However, despite their size, their thinner skin makes them more prone to parasites (the genitals is the main target).
FAMILY GENEIALATORIDAE (Cets, Magwhis, O'Kellies)Edit
The fossil record of this family extends from the present to the early eocene. This family lacks a nasal flap and still has ossacaeli's (however they are vestigial).