Proustus was not the heaviest whale in history; Blue whale is still the record holder of this title

Proustus was not the heaviest whale in history;  Blue whale is still the record holder of this title

But Moutani, who is an expert in reconstructing the bodies of extinct marine animals, was surprised by the results of the Urbina group’s study. “I thought to myself, ‘How is that possible?'” he says. How can that mass be included in this volume?

So, Mutani contacted Dr. Pinson, an expert on whale fossils. They both felt that it was wrong to reconstruct the Proustus model from the manatee specimen, since only whales have evolved to such gigantic sizes. Pinson says, “Any species should be compared only with an example of its own kind.”

In their study, Pinson and Mutani examined live whales. No one can weigh live blue whales, so no accurate measurements of their weight have ever been made. Pinson and Mutani looked at data collected by Japanese whaling ships in the 1940s and used that as the basis for the estimates in the new study.

Researchers estimate the weight of the ancient Proustus whale to be only between 60 and 70 tons

Pinson and Mutani also made a 3D model of a blue whale and used it to make a model of Proustus. Using this approach, they estimated that Proustus weighed only 60 to 70 tons, which is much less than the figure that Urbina’s research team had concluded.

Ellie Emson, a paleontologist and curator of fossil mammals at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany, and lead author of the previous study, disagrees with the new approach. “This extinct whale had a very different biology than whales today,” he says.

Emson says he and his colleagues are now building their own 3D model of the ancient species of Prostus. They have found that Proustus was even more similar to a manatee than previously thought, and this serves as an emphasis on the conclusion of their study; This means that Proustus competes with the blue whale in terms of weight and even surpasses it.

Pinson says that despite the smaller size he and Motani concluded, Proustus is still a big find. Paleontologists have long believed that whales evolved to such gigantic sizes over the past few million years. Even with a weight of 60 tons, Proustus is considered a giant among early whales. “The whales were clearly going after large sizes,” says Pinson.

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