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Whale fossil shows evidence of shark attack

A 40-million-year old fossil of a new species of whale bears marks that indicate it was attacked by a shark.

The whale most likely met its demise at the mouth of an ancient shark. Tooth marks on its ribcage indicate it might have been attacked from its right flank, similar to how modern sharks attack their prey. The researchers were even able to see the striations the teeth left in the rib bones.

“We think that the shark attacked from the flank from behind, which is known to be how sharks attack larger things today,” Gingerich said. “We don’t know if that’s how the whale died, but it’s pretty likely.”

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Story: Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience | Photo: G. Bianucci

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