Second ancient whale found in Italy

April 2, 2007

The skeleton of a 33-foot-long prehistoric whale has been discovered in what was once an ancient seabed in Italy's Tuscany region.

Paleontologist Elisabetta Cioppi of Florence University said the skeleton dated from the Pliocene era, 4 million years ago, ANSA, the Italian news agency reported.

"It's a spectacular find," Cioppi said. "The variety of organisms around (the skeleton) will enable us to carry out a profound analysis of the ancient environment."

Some shark teeth were discovered among the whale's bones which Cioppi thinks were probably left when the whale was attacked just before it died.

Last week a 5-million-year-old whale skeleton was found in one of Italy's finest vineyards south of Florence.

Both skeletons are being taken to Florence's Natural History Museum.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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