Remains of ‘T-Rex’ Whale Found
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SYDNEY, Australia — The remains of a prehistoric killer whale so fearsome that it has been described as the Tyrannosaurus rex of the deep has been discovered by scientists in Australia.
The species, which lived 25 million years ago, had razor-sharp teeth and preyed on large fish and sharks. Like the modern great white shark, it had large eyes to compensate for its lack of sonar ability, and it grew to a length of about 12 feet.
“It was Australia’s very own T-rex of the oceans,” Erich Fitzgerald said. Mr. Fitzgerald is a Ph.D. student who has spent three years extracting the creature’s skull from the rock in which it was found in the late 1990s.
The discovery of the whale’s fossilized remains has prompted a rethinking of whale evolution.
Despite its predatory nature, Janjucetus hunderi was related to today’s baleen whales, which feed by using a giant sieve of hair-like fibers in their mouths to filter plankton from the sea.
“It is an ancient baleen whale so primitive, so primeval, that it has teeth.