The fossilised skull and lower jaw of the whale, found in 1932 by local collectors, is just 45 centimetres long and has unusual features, including a short, blunt snout.This shows a range of evolution for the early whales, including different feeding mechanisms.
Large holes in the upper and lower jaws indicate the mammal - a close cousin of the 30-metre-long blue whale, the largest animal to inhabit the planet - had huge blood and nerve supply to the lips and facial muscles.
''This is unusual and no other baleen whale has this … and it tells us that the Mammalodon was feeding in a really unusual way. It suggests that it was a bottom-feeding mud-sucker,'' Dr Fitzgerald said. He said the whale probably used its tongue and snout to suck small prey up from sand and mud on the sea floor.
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