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Rare 10-million-year-old whale dug up in Crimea (PHOTOS)

Rare 10-million-year-old whale dug up in Crimea (PHOTOS)
The skeleton of an ancient whale was unearthed by archeologists in Crimea, Russia as they were examining a future railroad site. The animal lived in a sea which disappeared 10 million years ago.

The spine and ribs of a Cetotherium (Latin for ‘whale beast’), an extinct relative of modern whales, were discovered on the Kerch Peninsula as archeologists were examining land designated for railroad construction, local media reported on Friday.

The prehistoric creature was about five meters (16.5 feet) long. The discovery is not surprising, considering that the site was once deep underwater, at the heart of what was the Sarmatian Sea. “The sea eventually became land,” Sergey Yazikov, a researcher at the Archeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences told local media.

“The geological layers have gone up, and the whale’s skeleton appeared on top, although it used to rest on the seabed.”

Dmitry Startsev from the Crimean University’s zoological museum said the remains are quite unique. “All fragments are part of a single specimen. Such discoveries don’t happen often. The structure of the bone tissue is highly visible.”

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