More than 12 million years ago, a giant ruled the waters of the ocean. Despite its fierce reputation and 14 inch long teeth, it wasn’t actually a shark, but another whale. And no, not the normal “killer whale” (Orcinus orca), but a “killer” sperm whale. A fossilized skull and jaw were discovered off the coast of Peru, about 43 feet long and another 10 feet in length at the head.
After this ancient beast was found, it was granted the name Leviathan Melvillei in honor of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. Sorta fits, doesn’t it? Unlike the giant marine mammal in the book, though, Leviathan leaves the remains of the largest sperm whale fossils ever found, according to scientists in the journal Nature.
This gargantuan beast might have been a whale, but it was much different than today’s modern “Free Willy.” The biggest difference is its aggression. It actually ate other large creatures, including other mammoth-sized whales! “This sperm whale could firmly hold large prey with its interlocking teeth, inflict deep wounds and tear large pieces of from the body of the victim. With their large size and robust jaws, Leviathan adults were surely free from predation. It was a kind of sea monster.” explains Dr. Oliver Lambert of Paris’s Natural History Museum. “The fossil’s jaw had huge teeth on both sides, giving it the biggest bite ever to kill prey up to 26ft long.”
I certainly wouldn’t want to run into this big puppy. No animal would wander too close to this brute, so for the most part, it didn’t have any predators; however, there is one creature that could possibly come close. An animal that might just make an adult version of this killer sperm whale to worry: an ancient shark that, at the time, was around 15 meters long. But that would have been a pretty spectacular fight to witness, seeing as the monstrous whale was over 50 feet itself.
Daily Mail UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1290945/Leviathan-Fossil-sea-monster-whale-14in-teeth-scientists.html)