This was a ‘primitive whale’. A group of researchers found its remains. Where did they find it? In a desert located in Peru. There was a 36-million-year-old whale skull.
The news was disseminated through a press release. It was made by the National Museum of History of Peru. It detailed when the remains belonging to the late Eocene were found. This happened at the end of 2021 in the Ocucaje desert, in Ica. The team was led by paleontologist Mario Urbina.
The skull of this basilosaur measures 1.35 meters. Despite its age, it keeps its teeth intact. The latter is noted in a bulletin of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.
Paleontologist Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi is in charge of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of History of Peru. He was in charge of the presentation of the fossil. He explained that this type of basilosaurs were among the largest predators of the time. Its impressive length was more than 12 meters.
The researcher pointed out that other important fossils have been found in the same desert. One of them is that of the giant penguin Inkayacu. His study was published in the journal Science in 2010.
“The most incredible thing is that the skull is in a very good state of preservation. And it has its teeth complete. It was a predator of the first order. It fed on penguins and fish; a sea monster as you can imagine. We think it is a new species,” said Salas-Gismondi.
The 36-million-year-old whale skull will be exhibited at the National Museum of History of Peru. This will be from March 18, in an exhibition that will include field photographs and illustrations. It is expected to help understand the environment in which this animal lived.