.....the specimens found have an age of 12 to 15 million years, so that was impossible," said Professor Jelle Reumer, one of the team of scientists who found the fossil in the Pisco-Ica desert in coastal Peru.
They had been searching for other types of whale fossils in a remote area some 300 kilometers south of Lima. "The place where we found it was 20 kilometers from the nearest village," said Reumer, who is also director of Natural History Museum in Rotterdam.
Strong winds had shifted sand to expose a three-meter long fossilized skull. The skull of today's blue whale, still the largest animal ever known to have existed, is around six meters long.
The fossilized remains found in Peru include a jaw bone and several teeth, each around 12 centimeters in diameter and up to 36 centimeters in length.
The size of its teeth indicate that the mammal fed on large prey, possibly baleen whales which were plentiful at the time of the Leviathan's existence around 12 million to 13 million years ago, in the middle of the Miocene Age, Reumer said.