The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, June 23, 2018

Five-million-year-old fossilised tooth of gigantic 'killer' whale found in Australia
Tyrannosaurus rex tooth (l), extinct sperm whale tooth (m) and contemporary sperm whale tooth (r) c. Ben Healley.

SYDNEY (AFP).- A huge, five-million-year-old whale tooth has been discovered on an Australian beach, providing the first evidence of the now extinct killer sperm whale outside the Americas.

The 30-centimetre-long (12-inch) fossilised tooth, which is larger than that of a Tyrannosaurus rex, was found by a fossil enthusiast at Beaumaris Bay near Melbourne in February.

"After I found the tooth I just sat down and stared at it in disbelief," Murray Orr said after the find was announced on Thursday by Museum Victoria, to whom he has donated the tooth.

"I knew this was an important find that needed to be shared with everyone."

Museum Victoria said the unique fossil belonged to an extinct species of "killer sperm whale" which would have measured up to 18 metres (60 feet) in length and weighed some 40 tonnes.

It is the only example ever found outside the Americas, it added.

"Until this find at Beaumaris all fossils of giant killer sperm whales were found on the west coast of South and North America," Erich Fitzgerald, a paleontologist at the museum, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The museum said the tooth, which dates from the Pliocene epoch of some five million years ago, was not only larger than those of a living sperm whale but also of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Unlike today's sperm whales, which eat a diet of squid and fish, their extinct relatives are thought to have used their bone-crushing teeth to prey on much larger animals, including fellow whales.

"If we only had today's deep-diving, squid-sucking sperm whales to go on, we could not predict that just five million years ago there were giant predatory sperm whales with immense teeth that hunted other whales," Fitzgerald said in a statement.

"Most sperm whales for the past 20 million years have been of the whale-killing kind. So, the fossil record reveals the living species to in fact be the exception to the rule, the oddball of the sperm whale family."

Fitzgerald said Beaumaris Bay was one of Australia's premier fossil sites, providing insights into the history of the continent's marine megafauna.


© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

April 26, 2016

World War I soldiers live on in cave graffiti near Battle of the Somme

Museo Picasso Málaga exhibits Jackson Pollock’s monumental 'Mural'

iGavel announces a trio of online auctions with one-of-a-kind offerings

Five-million-year-old fossilised tooth of gigantic 'killer' whale found in Australia

Andy's A-List: 30 photographs of the artist’s inner circle of celebrity friends offered at artnet Auctions

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces new loans and a focused exhibition

London's Victoria & Albert Museum draws flak over sketching underwear ban

Exhibition pays tribute to Hannah Höch's oeuvre after 1945 in the anniversary year of Dada

Tate Britain presents Commission 2016 'Pablo Bronstein: Historical Dances in An Antique Setting'

Major exhibition of works by Georg Baselitz opens at White Cube Bermondsey

Stephenson's spring auction offers selections from Philadelphia-area estates

Phillips to offer seminal sculpture by Jeff Koons at 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Through the lens: Fashion photography under the spotlight at Sotheby's Photographs Sale

Chile honors poet Neruda before reburying body

Davis Museum promotes Claire Whitner to Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs

White Black Gold: An exhibition of new work by Keith Coventry opens at Pace London

Near White House, Washington punk spirit still resonates

Sudan palace-museum recalls restive Darfur's royal past

Willem de Kooning's East Hampton II leads Modern & Contemporary Art at Heritage Auctions

Celaya Brothers Gallery exhibits the work of Juan Carlos Coppel

Documents, objects, and ephemera by James Lee Byars on view at Vienna's Secession

First retrospective show of Vita Buivid's work opens at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art

iGavel Auctions closes Asia Week New York with nearly $2.5 million in sales

Flaka Haliti's first institutional show in Switzerland opens at SALTS

Soul great Billy Paul dead at 81

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful