Ancient whale tells tale of when baleen whales had teeth

36-million-year-old fossil belonged to oldest discovered member of group that includes humpbacks

Mystacodon skull

WHALE IN TRANSITION  The skull of Mystacodon, a 36-million-year-old whale found in Peru, is an early relative of today’s baleen whales. Its skull (shown here) has a flattened snout and a mouth full of teeth, which baleen whales later lost.

O. Lambert et al/Current Biology 2017

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Paleontology

From the Nature Index

Paid Content