The park's four Ocucajea picklingi are among the most playful and adorable residents of Paleos. At only three meters or a little under ten feet, they are the smallest basilosaurid. Basilosaurids are cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and their close relatives) whose members have multi-edged teeth and are the first fully-aquatic members of its infraorder. Ocucajea was discovered in the mountainous deserts of southern Peru from the 37 million-year-old deposits of the Eocene Paracas Formation. It lived along other larger basilosaurids such as Supayacetus, giant penguins such as the Peruvian red-bellied penguin, Icadyptes salasi, along with a menagerie of other marine life. Ocucajea itself would have preyed upon small fishes, crabs, and mollusks. As seen from the members alive today, they are very social creatures, almost as much so as modern-day dolphins. Despite this, they do not have all the complex clicks and whistles that dolphins do and communicate using body gestures and motions as seen in the image above. Though this might seem as a hindrance, the modern examples of this elegant species demonstrate this is not the case.
As stated before, four Ocucajea inhabit Paleos's Wallace Aquarium of Evolutionary Biology: two males and two females. The two males, Phujpuri and Atillcha, named after the Quechuan translation for dolphin and friend, respectively. Phujpuri is the individual pictured above. He is the most active of all individuals, and can occasionally be seen leaping high out of the water for no other reason than pure pleasure. He can often be seen swimming alongside the acrylic walls of the 2.6-million-liter exhibit they live in. Atillcha is a shyer, less out-going character. This is true with all humans but one: Alexandra Hall. She was assigned to the aquarium two and a half months before opening and the two have been partners ever since. "Atillcha is the cutest animal in the world," she says, "He'll come right up to me and nudge me with his nose. His soft, leathery skin is one of the most surreal things you'll ever touch." Shuc and Iskai are the park's two females. Although not as warm to humans as the males, they get along especially well with each other. Most astonishingly of all, the two females have been seen working together to attack the live fish that inhabit the tank. One of the females, usually Iskai, will chase a shoal of fish into the reef division of the tank. There, Shuc lies in wait and will launch herself from behind a rock and snap up as many fish as possible. Then, Iskai will grab all that swim her way. The Ocucajea are some of the most exciting and social creatures in all of Paleos.