This is a RARE AND ENORMOUS Sperm Whale (Physeter sp.) fossil LUMBAR vertebra. It is THE LARGEST AND MOST IMPRESSIVE FOSSIL WHALE VERTEBRA WE HAVE EVER OFFERED. Despite its size, it is from a STILL GROWING juvenile whale as seen by the unfused centrum faces on each side. An additional impressive feature is the evidence of shark predation on the bottom end. There are shark teeth bite marks but they are not large enough to be from a Megalodon shark. The size of the bites indicate they could have come from a variety of lesser size sharks such as Great White, Mako or even a large Tiger shark.
The size of this whale vertebra, and having been found with associated Sperm whale teeth, leave no doubt this came from the largest predatory whale of this period. The Megalodon shark and the Sperm whale were THE apex predators of this period and both competed for food, as well as served as each others' food source when possible. The image of two powerful killing machines larger than passenger buses fighting and tearing at each other underwater must have been an absolutely incredible battle to witness!
A well-preserved, giant fossil whale vertebra of this size is EXTREMELY UNCOMMON due to the fact that most were preyed upon by large sharks such as Megalodon, and scavenged by smaller meat-eaters when they died in prehistory. Furthermore, the porous nature of the bones makes them more susceptible to decomposition and disintegration over time, rather than fossilization. Prehistoric whale bone fossils are most often found incomplete and fragmented, at best. The Sperm whale is, and was the largest of all the toothed whales with males attaining lengths in excess of 60 feet. The male Sperm whale is THE largest predator living in the sea today. They are truly the kings of the ocean realm. In prehistory during the Miocene / Pliocene periods, no marine animal grew larger than the Megalodon shark and certain toothed whales such as the Sperm Whale.
We cleaned this specimen in our lab with microblasters, revealing the well-preserved surface and shark bites. The specimen came from a deposit rich in fossil shark teeth of several species including Megalodon, Great White and Mako sharks leaving no doubt it is prehistoric in origin. In addition, its deep brown hue that runs through the bone is a testament to it not being from a modern whale. Despite our operations being centered in the heart of "fossil diver country", examples like this are SUPER SCARCE! This fossil is perfect to display alongside a Megalodon shark tooth collection as this creature would have shared the same waters and served as the main food source for the largest and most dangerous shark that ever lived, the MEGALODON shark. This specimen is far nicer than normally seen deserves a place in the finest fossil collection.