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Temporal range: Early Eocene, 50 Ma
Ichthyolestes BW.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Pakicetidae
Genus: Ichthyolestes
Dehm & Oettingen-Spielberg 1958
Species: I. pinfoldi
Binomial name
Ichthyolestes pinfoldi
Dehm & Oettingen-Spielberg 1958

Ichthyolestes ("fish thief") is a genus of extinct early whale belonging to the family Pakicetidae endemic to northern Pakistan, living during the Lutetian stage.[1]

Ichthyolestes, the oldest of the pakicetids, had semicircular canals in the inner ear the same size as the living relatives of cetaceans, the artiodactyls, in contrast to the reduced size found in later pakicetids and protocetids, such as Remingtonocetus, Indocetus, and Dorudon, and extant cetaceans.[2]


  1. ^ Ichthyolestes in the Paleobiology Database. Retrieved June 2013.
  2. ^ Spoor et al. 2002, p. 164


  • Dehm, Richard; Oettingen-Spielberg, Therese zu (1958). Paläontologische und geologische Untersuchungen im Tertiär von Pakistan. 2. Die mitteleocänen Säugetiere von Ganda Kas bei Basal in Nordwest-Pakistan. Abhandlungen / Neue Folge, 91. Munich: Beck. OCLC 163296508. 
  • Spoor, F.; Bajpai, S.; Hussain, S. T.; Kumar, K.; Thewissen, J. G. (2002). "Vestibular evidence for the evolution of aquatic behaviour in early cetaceans" (PDF). Nature. 417 (6885): 163–66. doi:10.1038/417163a. PMID 12000957. 

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