Researchers digging in Peru’s Ocucaje desert have uncovered the skull of an enormous marine predator thought to be the ancestor of modern whales and dolphins.

Four feet long (1.2 meters) and lined with knife-like teeth, the skull appears to be a new species of Basilosaurus — a genus of ferocious marine mammals that lived some 36 million years ago during the Eocene epoch, researchers from the National University of San Marcos (UNMSM) in Lima told Reuters. From snout to tail, the creature probably measured about 39 feet (12 meters) long, or about the size of a city bus.


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