Fossil of 85-foot blue whale is largest ever discovered

Via:  larry-hampton  •  last year  •  9 comments

Fossil of 85-foot blue whale is largest ever discovered

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

The blue whale is not only the largest animal alive today, it is the largest one that has ever lived. Now, analysis of a fossil found on the shore of an Italian lake hints at when, and perhaps how, the blue whale became such a behemoth.

The beast’s very large skull, described today in the journal Biology Letters , confirms that this ancient blue whale is the largest known in the fossil record , reaching a whopping 85 feet long. That’s just shy of the largest modern blue whales on record, which reach up to a hundred feet. Perhaps even more surprising to scientists, though, is the fact that a whale of this size swam the seas around 1.5 million years ago, during the early Pleistocene—far earlier than previously thought.


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Larry Hampton
1  seeder  Larry Hampton    last year

A whale of a find

Figuring out how blue whales came to be so big has been a challenge, as large whale fossils from the past 2.5 million years are rare. This is likely because the planet went through a number of ice ages during this period, when plenty of water froze into ice and sea levels dropped dramatically. The remains of whales that died in those days, even if they stranded on land, may now be many dozens of feet below sea level. ( A 27.5-million-year-old fossil recently found in New Zealand belongs to one of the oldest known ancestors of baleen whales. )

2  Enoch    last year

Dear Friend Larry Hampton: Always fascinating.

Please keep these informative articles coming.



Larry Hampton
2.1  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Enoch @2    last year

Thank you Enoch; my pleasure. 

Raven Wing
3  Raven Wing    last year

Wow!!   What an amazing find. I love learning more about the ancient history of our world, and the beings that were here so long ago. 

Thank you for sharing this great story with us. I really enjoy it. (smile)

4  Kavika     last year

I'll bet that Jonah thought it was pretty cool. 

What a discovery....

Bob Nelson
5  Bob Nelson    last year

Very fun seed! Thank you.

6  1stwarrior    last year

Fascinating Larry.  Makes me wonder 'bout the whale's routes for journey.  The Straits of Gibraltar are "about" 1,900 feet in depth and the Mediterranean is 'bout 17,000 in depth in some locations.  How much room would a pod of the little fellas need and are they still in the Med?

Perrie Halpern R.A.
7  Perrie Halpern R.A.    last year

Amazing story Larry! I can't believe an animal of this size swam in our waters just 1.5 million years ago. In palio years, that is not long ago. 

Bob Nelson
8  Bob Nelson    last year

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