Thailand: 3,000-year-old Rare Whale Fossil Found off the Coast
Almost perfectly preserved whale skeleton found in Thailand. It is estimated to be 3,000 or 5,000 years old.
The bones were found in early November. The fossils were found off the coast, about 12 km (7.5 miles) offshore just west of Bangkok. The whale is 12 meters (39 feet) long, which is thought to be the skeleton of Bryde's whale.
Reporting from the BBC, Friday, November 28, experts hope that these findings can provide a picture of the past for researching sea level and biodiversity.
"This bone, which has partly become phosphorus, is a rare find," said mammal researcher Marcus Chua of the National University of Singapore.
"There are few whale subfossils in Asia," he said. He also said that even a few fossils were in good condition.
The image that has been shared by Thailand's Minister of Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa shows that the bones appear completely intact. According to the politician, more than 80% of the skeletons have been found today, including ribs, fins, and a shoulder blade. The head of the skeleton was probably about 3 meters long.
Chua researchers say that this discovery allows scientists to know more about certain species in the past, whether there is a difference to the current Bryde's whale.
Living in tropical waters
The skeletal findings can also provide important information about paleobiological and geological conditions at that time, as well as estimates of sea level such as sediment types, and contemporary biological communities.
"So, these findings also open a window into the past, after which the framework has been investigated," said Chua.
The bones have been carbon tested to determine their exact age, results are expected in December.
The Gulf of Thailand has an interesting history in the last 10,000 years. Biologists suggest sea levels were likely up to 4 meters higher than today, and there was active tectonic activity.
The skeleton was found offshore in Samut Sakhon.
Bryde's whales, which live around the world in warm, tropical waters, are still found in the waters around Thailand.
Source : BBC, News World Asia