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Cetotherium (Nobu Tamura)


Cetotherium (Greek for "whale beast"); pronounced SEE-toe-THEE-ree-um


Seashores of Eurasia

Historical Epoch:

Middle Miocene (15-10 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 15 feet long and one ton



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size, short baleen plates

About Cetotherium:

For all intents and purposes, the prehistoric whale Cetotherium can be considered a smaller, sleeker version of the modern gray whale, about one-third the length of its famous descendant. Like the gray whale, Cetotherium filtered plankton from seawater with baleen plates (which were relatively short and underdeveloped), and it was likely preyed on by the giant, prehistoric sharks of the Miocene epoch, possibly including the gigantic Megalodon.
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