Giant Whale-Eating Whale Fossil Discovered - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Giant Whale-Eating Whale Fossil Discovered

LONDON, England - The massive skull and jaw of a 13-million-year-old sperm whale has been discovered eroding from the windblown sands of a coastal desert of Peru.

The extinct cousin of the modern sperm whale is the first fossil to rival modern sperm whales in size — although this is a very different beast, say whale evolution experts.

"We could see it from very far," said paleontologist Olivier Lambert of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France, who led the team which found the fossil.

The giant 3-meter (10-foot) skull of what's been dubbed Leviathan melvillei (in honor of the author of "Moby Dick") was found with teeth in its top and bottom jaws up to 36 centimeters (14 inches) long. The discovery is reported in the July 1 issue of the journal Nature.

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