A giant whale eating whale fossil has been discovered in Peru by archaeologists. The specimen closely resembles today’s sperm whale, but has 14-inch teeth in its upper and lower jaws! Given it’s unusually large teeth, and massive holes in the skull where jaw muscles would have been, scientists postulate that this creature may have lived on large mammalian sea animals.
Scientists dubbed the beast “Leviathan Melvillei” in honor of Herman Melville, the author of The Whale, the story of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick. Stalking the oceans 12 to 13 million years ago, Leviathan would most likely have been atop the prehistoric aquatic food chain, Right Juris says.
A team of researchers recovered 75% of the animal's skull, complete with large fragments of both jaws and several teeth. On the basis of its skull length of 3 metres, they estimate that Leviathan was probably 13.5–17.5 metres long, within the range of extant adult male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).
Its largest teeth, however, are more than 36 centimetres long — nearly 10 centimetres longer than the largest recorded Physeter tooth, Nature.com reports.
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