Ancient giant. 85,000-year-old giant whale fossil found in Taiwan forest
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Archaeological students from National Cheng Kung University have discovered the remains of a whale in the middle of a forest in southern Taiwan. The find is approximately 85,000 years old
According to The Bellingham Herald, while exploring a forest in the Hengchun area, a team of students led by geologist Yang Zirui, a professor at Cheng Kung National University, discovered the remains of a whale. The team found four ribs sticking out of the ground, but that was just the beginning.
It took 90 days to fully excavate the site, an intensive project that began in the heat of summer and ended in October, according to a university press release issued Dec. 5.
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According to experts, during the excavations, a huge whale fossil was discovered, which is 85,000 years old. The fossilized whale was almost 15.3 meters long and about 70% of the remains were preserved.
The team excavated the whale's backbone, shoulder blades, back of the skull and jawbone, Zirui said in the release. As the photos show, the tail vertebrae are better preserved.
The largest and heaviest part of the fossil was the jaw of a whale – its length was longer 2 m, and she weighed more than 330 kg.
After excavating each piece of the skeleton, the team used a stretcher to carry the fossil out of the woods. It took 12 people about 7 hours to get their jaws out of uneven terrain, the university said.
Scientists the fossils are thought to have belonged to the blue whale or the great fin whale, two species of whale that lived off the coast of Taiwan millennia ago, Zirui said.
The whale fossil — the first of its kind found in Taiwan — has been delivered to the National Museum of Natural History sciences for further purification and research, the uni rsitete.