Basilosaurus was a large whale that swam the Tethys ocean between the United States, South America, Africa, and South Asia in the Eocene (about 41 million years ago). Its name means “king lizard” as scientists at first mistook it for a giant reptile. We now know Basilosaurus was a giant predatory whale, reaching lengths of over 60 feet and weighing over 6 tons. Unlike modern whales and dolphins, Basilosaurus was a heterodont, meaning it had two differently shaped types of teeth in its massive jaws.


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