Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Huge Tooth Reveals Prehistoric Moby Dick in Melbourne

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Dr Erich Fitzgerald with the fossilised extinct sperm whale tooth.
Dr Erich Fitzgerald with the fossilised extinct sperm whale tooth.

Long walks on the beach will never be quite the same for local Melbourne man Murray Orr. The keen-eyed fossil enthusiast has collected the largest tooth ever found in Australia at Beaumaris Bay, a renowned fossil site in Melbourne’s south-east.

“After I found the tooth I just sat down and stared at it in disbelief. I knew this was an important find that needed to be shared with everyone,” recounts Mr Orr.

The tooth – of an extinct species of sperm whale closely related to Livyatan melvillei from Peru– is of international significance and represents the only example of its size and kind ever to be discovered in Australia. Indeed, the new discovery from Beaumaris is the first evidence of such a gigantic ‘killer sperm whale’ outside of the Americas....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.