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GIANT INTACT SPERM WHALE FOSSIL VERTEBRA

St. Mary's River - Georgia, U.S.A.

MIOCENE TO PLIOCENE PERIOD:  23.3 - 1.81 million years ago

This is an uncommonly well-preserved, giant fossil whale vertebra from a prehistoric Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus from the Miocene/ Pliocene Period.  The Sperm whale is and was the largest of all the toothed whales and males can grow to lengths in excess of 60 feet.  The male Sperm whale is THE largest predator living in the sea today.  They are truly the kings of the ocean realm.

This very well-preserved large vertebra has a centrum that is smooth on both sides with bone grain that is wonderfully detailed.  Part of the transverse processes are still present.  A specimen such as this is perfect to display alongside a Megalodon shark tooth collection as this creature would have shared the same waters and served as the main food source for the largest and most dangerous shark that ever lived, the MEGALODON shark.  This specimen is far nicer than normally seen deserves a place in the finest fossil collection.  Visually impressive!  Intact with NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION. 

Whales, dolphins and porpoises make up the group of air-breathing marine mammals called CETACEANS.  This group is comprised of three sub-groups - the extinct ARCHAEOCETI, and two living types, the ODONTOCETI (toothed whales) and MYSTICETI (baleen whales).  All have a body structure that is highly adapted for their marine environment.  These features include paddle-like forelimbs, lack of external hind limbs, large tail for propulsion underwater, dorsally located nostrils for breathing just above the surface of the water, specialized ears for underwater hearing and a streamlined body profile for efficient hydrodynamic locomotion.  Odontocetes are more prevalent and varied than Mysticetes.  All of the smaller current living whales (porpoises, orcas, narwhals, pilots, etc.) and a few of the larger ones (Sperm Whale) are toothed (Odontocetes).  Mysticetes include the largest animal that ever lived on the earth, the Blue Whale.   

All cetaceans are carnivorous with a main diet consisting of fish, invertebrates and other marine mammals.  Many cetacean fossils are found in sediments alongside fossil shark teeth and other marine vertebrates but whale fossils are much less common compared to other marine vertebrate fossils of the same period and region and whale fossils are often found in fragments or show evidence of predation by prehistoric sharks, no doubt, cetaceans most feared enemy in their prehistoric past.  

SUPERB MASSIVE VERTEBRA FROM THE KING OF THE SEAS - TODAY'S LARGEST PREDATOR!

PERFECT TO DISPLAY WITH MEGALODON TEETH - WHALES WERE MEGALODON'S #1 FOOD SOURCE!

11.5" across x 8.25" deep

SOLD     MV21-014     Actual Item - One Only

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