The Washington PostThe Washington Post

This whale may be the largest animal ever. We have no idea how it got that big.

By Dino Grandoni

02 Aug 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Fossils of a long-extinct marine mammal, the Perucetus colossus, have been discovered in Peru. Researchers estimate that it may have weighed up to 340 metric tons — or nearly double that of a blue whale, which was previously believed to be the heaviest animal to ever exist.

In this corner, weighing up to 190 metric tons, is the blue whale. This behemoth still swimming in Earth's oceans is the current titleholder for the heaviest animal to ever exist - living or dead.

And in this corner is the contender, a massive marine mammal that went extinct millions of years ago. Fossils of this ancient leviathan's bones recently dug up from the deserts of Peru suggest it may have weighed up to 340 metric tons, challenging the blue whale's status as the most massive ever in the animal kingdom.

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