New Fossils Confirm The Most Badass Whale To Ever Live

Posted by on June 30th, 2010


Peruvian researchers have pieced together the remains of what could have been the ultimate whale killing machine. Introducing Leviathan melvillei…

A team of researchers recovered 75% of the animal’s skull, complete with large fragments of both jaws and several teeth. On the basis of its skull length of 3 metres, they estimate that Leviathan was probably 13.5–17.5 metres long, within the range of extant adult male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).

Its largest teeth, however, are more than 36 centimetres long — nearly 10 centimetres longer than the largest recorded Physeter tooth.

Modern sperm whales lack functional teeth in their upper jaw and feed by suction, diving deep to hunt squid. Conversely, Leviathan had massive teeth in both its upper and lower jaws, and a skull that supported large jaw muscles. It may have hunted like raptorial killer whales, which use their teeth to tear off flesh.

Hard. Core.


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