WHY IN NEWS ?
- Recently, fossils of Perucetus colossus-the heaviest discovered animal ever, even heavier than the blue whale have been found in Peru.
MORE NEWS REGARDING THE FINDINGS:
- The newly revealed findings were based on fossils found in the Peruvian desert more than 10 years ago.
- An international team of scientists spent years digging in the Ica desert along the southern coast of Peru, an area that was once underwater and is famed for its paleontological discoveries.
- Eventually they uncovered and extracted 13 vertebrae, four ribs and a hip bone.
- Each vertebrae would have weighed more than 220 pounds.
- They used pioneering structured light scanning to make a three-dimensional model of them and drilled inside.
- This allowed them to estimate the whale’s size and weight despite having an incomplete skeleton.
ABOUT PERUCETUS COLOSSUS:
- The animal is speculated to have weighed up to 340 metric tonnes, which is much heavier than any animal that ever existed, including the dinosaurs and the Blue whale.
- The Perucetus colossus was around 20m long and weighed between 85 and 340 metric tonnes, with an average estimate of 180 metric tonnes.
- The Blue whale is still much longer than the Perucetus colossus at 33.5m.
- The Goliath of an animal is speculated to have lived around 38-40 million years ago.
- Currently, 13 vertebrae from the backbone of the Perucetus colossus, a part of the hip bone, and four ribs have been unearthed.
- The animal’s bones are stated to be extremely dense, unusually voluminous, and inflated.
- Their rock-like appearance is due to the fact that, unlike the regular spongy structure, the bones contained deposits that filled up the pores.
- Due to the lack of teeth and mouth remains, speculation on the animal’s diet is not definitive.
- It is believed that the Perucetus colossus was not an active predator but a slow-moving scavenger in shallow waters.
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