A fossil 36-million-year old fossil of the "sea monster", found in Peruvian Desert

On Thursday paleontologists revealed the fossilized remains of a 36-million-year-old whale, discovered last year in a Peruvian Desert. Scientists called it a "sea beast" that did "a lot of damage."

A fossil 36-million-year old fossil of the "sea monster", found in Peruvian Desert

"We have presented to AFP the new Peruvian Basilosaurus. It is the complete skull from an archaic whale that lived 36 millions years ago," Mario Urbina, paleontologist, said.

Urbina stated that the basilosaurus was discovered in the Ocucaje desert in the Ica region, 215 miles south from Lima. This desolate landscape was once a shallow sea millions years ago. Its dunes have produced large numbers of striking primitive marine mammal remains.

Rodolfo Sals, chief of paleontology of Peru's National University of San Marcos , stated that the whale is a "sea monster."

Salas stated that "the most amazing thing about the skull is its state of preservation, and it has complete teeth; it's a first-order prey, at the top, that fed on fish penguins, and a sea monster just like they imagine it, and we believe it to be a new species."

Researchers called it the "Ocucaje predator" at 55 feet. It used its powerful, massive teeth to eat tuna, sharks, and schools of sardines.

According to Salas, "When it was looking for its food, it certainly did a lot," Salas stated.

Urbina, a university researcher, said that "this finding is very important because no other similar specimens have been discovered in the world."

Rodolfo Salis-Gismondi, a member of our team, explained that the basilosaurus is different from other ancient whale species due to its size and the way it developed its teeth. These characteristics indicate that the animal likely occupied the top of the food chain.

He told AFP that this was an exceptional find due to its excellent preservation. "This predator was the largest of its kind."

Salas-Gismondi who is the head of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology in Lima's Natural History Museum, said that "at that time the Peruvian ocean was warm." "This fossil allows us to reconstruct the history and evolution of the Peruvian ocean."

55 million years ago, the first cetaceans evolved from land animals, such as the basilosaurus.

Cetaceans were fully adapted to marine life by the end of the Eocene (between 56 and 34 million years ago).

According to research, whales hadn't yet evolved and nearly all cetaceans were marine macropredators.

Researchers found fossils in the Ocucaje Desert, which provided scientists with 42 million years of evidence.

There are also fossils of four-legged dwarf whales as well as sharks, dolphins, and other species that were found during the Miocene period (23 million to five million years ago).

Two months ago, paleontologists in the United Kingdom announced that they had found a giant "sea Dragon" fossil from Peru.


 

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