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Fossil Whale

Palaeontologists have discovered a bizarre whale fossil in Australia with a set of fearsome teeth.

The specimen has surprised scientists because it belongs to the group known as baleen whales.
Modern day baleen whales are all placid, plankton eaters, but the new fossil shows the group were not always the ocean's gentle giants.
The fossil represents a previously unknown species, named Janjucetus hunderi after its teenage finder Staumn Hunter, who noticed it in an exposed boulder while surfing in 1997.
Janjucetus hunderi lived between 25 and 9 million years ago after the last common ancestor of the toothed and baleen whales.

Details of the 25 million-year-old find appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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