Paleontologists have found the skull of an ancient predatory whale in the Peruvian desert

(ORDO NEWS) — Paleontologists have discovered the skull of a prehistoric marine predator – the ancient ancestor of modern whales. The skull was found in the Ocucahe Desert in Peru, indicating that there was an ocean here tens of millions of years ago.

Where did the remains of marine animals come from in the desert? Scientists discovered a well-preserved Basilosaurus skull in 2021, about 350 kilometers from Lima (capital of Peru).

The sea giant, which is about 36 million years old, has earned the nickname “Okukai predator” – a fitting name for a 12-meter basilosaurus with a massive jaw filled with rows of pointed teeth.

It is the teeth, suitable for reprisals against fish, sharks and other whales, that put the Basilosaurus at the top of the food chain.

The Okukahe Desert is an ideal place for paleontological excavations

Paleontologists have found the skull of an ancient predatory whale in the Peruvian desert 2

Researchers believe that the Okukahe Desert was once the bottom of an ancient ocean. Some of the fossils found in the region are up to 42 million years old. The remains of Miocene dolphins, sharks and rare pygmy whales have been found here.

“At that time, the Peruvian sea was warm. Thanks to this type of fossil, we can reconstruct the history of the Peruvian Sea ,” the researchers told AFP .

Interestingly, “basilosaurus” means “royal lizard”. But this is not entirely accurate: Basilosaurus is a mammal, not a lizard.

“It was a sea monster. When he was looking for his food, he must have done a lot of harm,” Rodolfo Salas, head of paleontology at the Peruvian National University of San Marcos , told Reuters .

Online:

Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.