Saturday, April 21, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Prehistoric whales were ferocious predators


Posted on Wednesday, 30 August, 2017 | Comment icon 4 comments

Prehistoric whales ate more than just krill. Image Credit: NOAA
The ancestors of today's blue whales were deadly predators with rows of large, razor-sharp teeth.
A new fossil analysis has revealed that these ancient ocean mammals actually had bladed teeth - the perfect tools, not for filter feeding tiny sea creatures, but for catching and cutting up large prey.

The find offers up new evidence in the debate over how these ancient whales evolved to possess the special bristle-like structures (baleen) used by today's blue whales to catch large quantities of krill.

Previous studies had suggested that prehistoric whales had rounded teeth that they could use as a sieve to help scoop up small prey, but now it appears as though this was definitely not the case.

"We're quite sure it must have been a carnivore, a raptorial feeder," said study co-author Professor Alistair Evans. "It hopefully puts to rest one of these alternative hypotheses about how these whales evolved, and makes clearer the scenario that we think really happened."

"Our fossil finds and this new research suggests first they had teeth, they became suction feeders, they lost their teeth, and then they evolved baleen to help them retain the small foods they were catching by suction."

Source: ABC.net.au | Comments (4)

Tags: Whales

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DebDandelion on 30 August, 2017, 17:21
Awesome....scary.... But awesome!
Comment icon #2 Posted by BeastieRunner on 30 August, 2017, 20:46
I know when they said "suction feeders" they meant something else but all I could envision was vampire whales, sucking the blood of their enemies! BUWHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Comment icon #3 Posted by seanjo on 31 August, 2017, 12:47
Whales still are ferocious predators from the tonnes of krill sucking blue whale to shoal busting Dolphins, all of their prey would look on them as pretty ferocious.
Comment icon #4 Posted by LightAngel on 31 August, 2017, 12:57
Intriguing!


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6165944
262543
174746

 
Cows could end up as world's largest mammals
4-21-2018
Scientists have warned that cows could eventually become the largest remaining mammals on Earth.
New species of 'exploding ant' discovered
4-20-2018
Capable of taking drastic action to protect their colonies, these ants have a rather unusual defense mechanism.
Missing Nazi submarine mystery finally solved
4-20-2018
The wreckage of one of Germany's most advanced U-boats has been discovered off the coast of Denmark.
Mutation helps Bajau people stay underwater
4-19-2018
In a rare case of natural selection in modern humans, the free-diving Bajau people have developed a larger spleen.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Revealing the secrets of the deep ocean
Posted 4-19-2018 | 0 comments
Scientist Mandy Joye has dedicated her life to exploring the depths of the world's oceans.
 
Giant 3D-printed man
Posted 4-15-2018 | 2 comments
British YouTuber James Bruton has created a giant 3D-printed sculpture of himself.
 
The world's roundest object
Posted 4-12-2018 | 2 comments
A look at how the roundest object can help us to define the humble kilogram.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Dreams and clues to the future
3-31-2018 | Philippines and Germany
 
Black cloaked figure
3-31-2018 | Carlisle, Cumbria, England
 
Three knocks
3-8-2018 | Canada
 
Two shadows of me
3-8-2018 | Bellflower, LA
 
I think I know what I saw
3-5-2018 | Near Sultan, Washington
 
Ghost, or something else ?
3-5-2018 | Ohio, USA
 
 
Black hole in Bismarck
2-14-2018 | Mandan
 
 
Trapped and chased
2-9-2018 | Saskatchewan canada
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ