Basilosaurus sp. (fossil whale) (Eocene; Egypt) 1The name Basilosaurus means “king lizard”. It was a prehistoric archaeocete whale that existed around 40 million years ago. Scientists suggest that Basilosaurus was one of the first fully aquatic cetaceans.A skull with knife-like teeth has been unearthed in Peru’s Ocucaje desert, and scientists believe it could belong to a new and ferocious species of ancestor of modern whales, Basilosaurus, according to Live Science.Researchers from the National University of San Marcos (UNMSM) in Lima told Reuters that the fossil is four feet long (1.2 metres), and could belong to a creature measuring about 39 feet (12 metres) long. The creature remains officially unnamed; as of now, scientists call it “the “Ocucaje Predator”. The beast will receive a name as soon as its description is published in a peer-reviewed journal.
"It was a marine monster", Rodolfo Salas, founder and director of the palaeontology department at the Museum of Natural History at UNMSM, told reporters at a news conference on 17 March. "When it was searching for its food, it surely did a lot of damage".
The Ocucaje desert, according to the scientists, was once the bottom of an ancient ocean. According to researchers, it is full of fossils, some of which date back more than 42 million years. Previous excavations have unearthed the remains of other modern whale ancestors, as well as dolphins and sharks.Basilosaurus and its cousins were among the first fully aquatic cetaceans, although these ferocious beasts looked like a combination of a whale and a snake. They also had signature razor-sharp knife-like teeth. The fearsome ancient beast – with its name meaning “king lizard” – lived some 30-40 million years ago. They were among the apex predators – those who usually don’t end up as prey.