ROCK ON! 5.7 million year old whale fossil found in Spain

SKULL: The whale fossil dates back 5.7 million years. File image. Photo credit: Shutterstock

THE fossilised skull of a whale believed to be 5.7 million years old has been discovered inside a block of stone weighing 750 kilos in Santanyi.

It is reportedly the only known whale fossil found within a rock of identifiable origin from this particular period in the entire Mediterranean.

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A team of researchers from the Earth Sciences Research Group of the Department of Biology of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), made the find at a quarry near the town of s’Horta, Felanitx.

A spokesperson said that given the dimensions and main morphological features of the fossil, it is undoubtedly the skull of an aquatic mammal from the family Balaenopteridae (rorquals), the largest group of baleen whales.

The preliminary results were presented at the recent First Palaeontological Virtual Congress as well as at the VII Jornadas de Medio Ambiente de Baleares.


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