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RARE ARTICULATED PARTIAL WHALE SKELETON WITH GIANT FLIPPER AND VERTEBRAL COLUMN IN MATRIX

West Coastal South America

MIOCENE to PLIOCENE PERIOD:  23.3 - 1.81 million years ago

We are pleased to offer this rare articulated portion of a large whale skeleton from the Miocene/Pliocene Period of West Coastal South America.  With a ban on the digging and export of fossils from South America, specimens like this are rare if ever seen on the public market.  This spectacular partial skeleton fossil in concretion comes to us from a very old European collection.  It is the only specimen of its kind we have to offer.  We prepared the concretion and partly exposed the fossilized skeleton of this giant whale that once lived millions of years ago with the fearsome Megalodon shark.  The concretion shows one side with a large partial flipper without the phalanges.  This flipper rests against a lower layer of ribs which can be seen emerging from above and below the flipper.  If you turn the concretion over to the back side, you can see a cross-section of 5 giant vertebral centrums and some dorsal processes still attached.  There is NO REPAIR AND NO RESTORATION OR COMPOSITING OF FOSSILS to this concretion.  Every bone you see is exactly as it lay before it was collected.  This is a really impressive large articulated whale skeleton fossil from the days of the Earth's largest and most dangerous sharks.  Megalodon shark fossils and fossils of its relatives can also be found in this same formation and region.  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. 

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.  

VERTEBRATE FOSSILS FROM SOUTH AMERICA ARE NOW PROTECTED AND MOSTLY ABSENT FROM PRIVATE COLLECTIONS - RARE!

18" long x 10" wide x 6" thick overall

SOLD     MV21-022     Actual Item - One Only

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1995