June 15, 2004

Aye, there the beastie be!

Paleontologists have announced the discovery of a previously unknown species of whale that lived 14 million years ago in a sea that covered what is now eastern Virginia.

The whale is the oldest known member, by at least 3 million years, of a group that today includes the giant blue and fin whales, scientists said. It was several feet longer than any other whale in its time, said Alton Dooley, a museum paleontologist.

The discovery suggests that almost-modern-looking whales lived considerably further back in time than scientists realized.

Here's something neat: The Virginia Museum of Natural History named the new species Eobalaenoptera harrisoni, after Carter Harrison, a museum volunteer.

Posted by Ted at June 15, 2004 08:19 AM
Category: SciTech
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