Ancient Cetaceans – Frankfurt Natural History Museum

There are some very impressive prehistoric whale exhibits in the ancient whales gallery at the Frankfurt Natural History Museum (Frankfurt, Germany).  The Frankfurt Museum, also known as the Senckenberg Museum, houses one of the largest natural history collections in the whole of western Europe.  The extensive galleries highlight biodiversity and tell the story of the evolution of life on Earth.  One of the highlights of the entire collection is the substantial cetacean gallery that includes a number of mounted exhibits of ancient prehistoric whales.

The Ancient Whales Gallery (Senckenberg Museum)

Ancient whale fossils.

The magnificent ancient whales gallery at the Frankfurt Natural History Museum (Germany).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Basilosaurus

A team member from Everything Dinosaur spotted a glass case that contained the fossil skull and jaws of the Late Eocene whale Basilosaurus, fossils of which are known from New Zealand, North Africa, the United States and Europe.  This early toothed whale was an apex predator, reaching lengths in excess of twenty metres and perhaps weighing more than 10,000 kilograms.

The Skull and Jaws of the Fearsome Basilosaurus

Basilosaurus fossil jaws (Frankfurt Natural History Museum)

Basilosaurus fossil jaws.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Basilosaurus was popularised after it appeared in the BBC television series “Walking with Beasts”, a sequel to the famous “Walking with Dinosaurs” television series that was first aired in 1999.   Episode two of “Walking with Beasts” entitled “Whale Killer” told the story of a pregnant Basilosaurus and her search for enough food to sustain herself and her unborn calf as the world entered a period of climate change that would lead to a significant extinction event.

An Illustration of Basilosaurus

PNSO Basilosaurus illustration.

An illustration of Basilosaurus.  A Basilosaurus scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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