Sunday, October 7, 2012

Livyatan melvillei

Remember me mentioning “hypercarnivorous” whales? Well here it is. Imagine a cross between an orca and a sperm whale. Livyatan melvillei was a whale that ate other whales. It had the largest teeth of any animal to ever use their teeth to eat (elephant tusks are bigger, but they just look impressive and help them smash things; they don’t eat with them) topping out at 1.18 feet. They lived in the same oceans and ate the same food as the Megalodon, so this whale actually had to compete with the largest predatory shark ever.

Not to mention their head was 10 feet long and featured the same echo-locating equipment as modern toothed whales, making them much more effective in murky water. In case it was not obvious, this beast was named after the leviathan, a giant sea monster from the bible, and Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick. If the great white whale had been one of these, it would have eaten the Pequot and everyone aboard as a snack.

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