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Things That Need To Be On The Side Of A Van #328
July 1, 2010 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Paleontologists discover the skull of a massive predatory whale (Leviathan melvillei) in Peru. Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations. (via)
posted by The Whelk (71 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, god, I want that tshirt!
posted by OmieWise at 10:40 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love the expression on the predator.
posted by grobstein at 10:41 AM on July 1, 2010


Timmy: Mr. McClure, I have a craaazy friend who won't eat meat. Is she stupid or what?"

Troy McClure: No Timmy, not stupid. Just ignorant. Your friend never heard of the food chain [clips of hawk preying on sheep, shark eating gorilla].
posted by yoyoceramic at 10:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


The artist who made that has the best job ever.
posted by burnfirewalls at 10:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Looks like another movie opportunity for Debbie Deborah Gibson.
posted by bondcliff at 10:43 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, after reading the title of this post (and agreeing SO HARD), I would totally go against all the advice that I've received and rent from Uhaul if they could promise me a truck with that on the side.
posted by burnfirewalls at 10:43 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is the most metal thing I've ever seen. Someone needs to send that to Ahab post haste.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2010


so awesome
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2010


I think I love that I had to scroll down to get the whole picture.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Instant iPhone wallpaper.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Giant Whale-Eating Whale Found

My mind has just spiraled down into recursive dementia. whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeating
posted by Think_Long at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Leviathan melvillei is probably the best species scientific name ever.
posted by Plutor at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [19 favorites]


Ousted!
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


In other news, Jesus may have glossed over the bit where Jonah does come out of the belly of the whale after three days, but in several hundred pieces.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010


Looks like another movie opportunity for Debbie Deborah Ghidorah Gibson.
posted by hermitosis at 10:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The giant sperm whale Leviathan melvilleiis is illustrated attacking a medium-size baleen whale off the coast of the area now occupied by Peru.

The flavor text leaves something to be desired. I would have gone with:

Whaley had dishonored his entire race. This could not stand. Mobius the Deathbringer would need to use the full might of his gnashing teeth to make an example of the impudent baleen whale. Mobius the Deathbringer smited the inferior and craven Whaley McWhalerson, with a great and magnificent bite to the puny baleen whale’s mid section. Whaley screamed and then crumpled. Mobius knew that his sperm whale hordes would remain loyalty. The only true power was that which you could hold onto with fear. The light filtering through the sea from the sky was to the color of a dead baleen whale’s eye tuned to nothing.

[NOT BALEEN WHALEIST]
posted by edbles at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I look forward to Whale-Eating Whale Week.
posted by ob at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2010


posted by The Whelk Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations.

There is a wisdom that is "Whoa!"; but there is a "Whoa" that is bad-ass-ness.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:50 AM on July 1, 2010


Naming new species would probably be one of the best parts of being a successful paleontologist. Reminds me of the giant whale eating the boat while fighting a squid in the House on the Rock... only FOR REAL!
posted by ChuraChura at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2010


i'm a whale!!!
i'm a WHAAALE!
suck my diiiiiiick!!
I'M A WHALE!!
posted by pyrex at 10:53 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have a somewhat particular phobia: feeling like I'm underwater in the presence of a whale. Comes from too many school field-trips to the Museum of Natural History in NY, in particular the squid vs. sperm whale diorama. The blue whale hanging from the ceiling always freaked me the fuck out and made me feel like I was spending my last moments drowning before being crushed by a massive beast.

That carnivorous whale image just made me almost pee my shorts.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]




Troy McClure: No Timmy, not stupid. Just ignorant. Your friend never heard of the food chain [clips of hawk preying on sheep, shark eating gorilla].

(Note that the aggressively predatory species of whale is now extinct, while it's more affable descendants managed to stick around a lot longer.)

Also: Is it wrong to kind of sort of half-wish these would make a miraculous comeback and start attacking oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico en masse?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:55 AM on July 1, 2010


New wallpaper! I think the wee fox on my Firefox icon just pooped himself a little.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:56 AM on July 1, 2010




Yeah, well, Basilosaurus was even bigger and got its own CGI documentary. So there, Leviathan.
posted by Catseye at 10:58 AM on July 1, 2010


Why are all the coolest animals extinct?
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:00 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


srsly, how hard is it to remember the nomnomnom tag?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also: Is it wrong to kind of sort of half-wish these would make a miraculous comeback and start attacking oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico en masse?

Well, if you really think about it, these guys' dying out was at least partially responsible for some of the stuff that's gushing out of there.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2010


Aww. They're playing!
posted by steef at 11:04 AM on July 1, 2010


"An old, old sight, and yet somehow so young"
--Captain Ahab on spotting Moby-Dick
posted by stbalbach at 11:05 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by T.D. Strange Why are all the coolest animals extinct?

They were the hipsters of their time, so they went extinct before they could be called ironic.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:05 AM on July 1, 2010


I will NOT pay too much for this predatory whale art!

/Want to heighten your whale watching pleasure? (listen to this while looking at the pic)
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2010


That skull is still only half the size of the modern blue whale's.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:19 AM on July 1, 2010


I respectfully submit that an even more awesome illustration would have been Leviathan melvillei attacking a Klingon Bird of Prey. "Uh, Jim... I don't think that this whale wants to be saved..."
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2010


[i]Why are all the coolest animals extinct?
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:00 AM on July 1 [+] [!] [/i]

humans have bogarded half the photosynthetic capacity of the planet. large predators cannot survive us eating all their prey.
posted by eustatic at 11:28 AM on July 1, 2010


One of the tags is misspelled ("anicent").
posted by christopherious at 11:31 AM on July 1, 2010


You're gonna need a bigger boat.
posted by smoothvirus at 11:41 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Expect to see this on this years Shark Week. Hopefully in a fight with Megalodon.
posted by DU at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2010


Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water, and also you are a whale...
posted by Bromius at 11:48 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yo dawg, I heard you like Moby Dick, so I had a whale eat a whale, so you could get revenge while you get revenge.
posted by yeti at 11:56 AM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


The much toothier fossil sperm whales, however, may have eaten more like a outsized-orca, or killer whale: chomping great big bites out of its prey.

"Toothier" is a very non-scary way to describing something that must have been absolutely terrifying!
posted by Danf at 11:56 AM on July 1, 2010


I think the odds just shifted for this match...
posted by FatherDagon at 12:06 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want one of those teeth! In my front yard! To warn off anyone who would think of messing with me, I would simply point to the sign I'd have hanging on it which would read:

Look at the size of this fucking tooth! Run away!
posted by quin at 12:18 PM on July 1, 2010


Hey that just looks like a normal whale to me, now let me just scroll dow-HOLY SHIT!
posted by codacorolla at 12:21 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The much toothier fossil sperm whales, however, may have eaten more like a outsized-orca, or killer whale: chomping great big bites out of its prey.

I wonder. Those teeth don't look very good for that.

A better feeding strategy, given sperm whales incredible and unique diving abilities, would seem to be grabbing the prey in an unbreakable grip (that's what the teeth look good for to me), and diving until the depth killed the prey, then coming back up and eating it.

Otherwise why would these whales even need to dive (that is, even be sperm whales in the first place)?
posted by jamjam at 12:31 PM on July 1, 2010


i love how the giant whale eating whale has battle scars. he probably survived an encounter with a giant whale eating whale eating whale.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


My mind has just spiraled down into recursive dementia. whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eating whale eatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeatingwhaleeating

It's whales all the way down.
posted by papercake at 12:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see the giant whale bite the normal whale in half, and then a hundred thousand eels swim out in all different directions.
posted by jefbla at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2010


I'd like to see the giant whale bite the normal whale in half, and then a hundred thousand eels swim out in all different directions.

Giant eel eating whale eating whale.

It really never gets old, does it?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:03 PM on July 1, 2010


Does anybody else get filled with really visceral fear looking at that stupendously gargantuan thing? No? Okay you're all insane.
posted by tehloki at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2010


MEGAWHALE VERSUS GIANT WHALE
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


When's Discovery going to have WHALE WEEK?
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


i love how the giant whale eating whale has battle scars. he probably survived an encounter with a giant whale eating whale eating whale.

Perhaps, but I also suspect that no matter how large the largest whale ever grew, there was an equally whale eating whale eating giant squid to combat it in the dark depths.
posted by aught at 1:25 PM on July 1, 2010


They were the hipsters of their time, so they went extinct before they could be called ironic.

I saw that whale before he got big. He was alright, I guess. But the megaporpoise was much better. Never heard of him? I'm not surprised, not a lot of people have.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:35 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Would a whale twice this big be twice as cool, or four times?
posted by clockzero at 1:56 PM on July 1, 2010


MEGAWHALE VERSUS GIANT WHALE VERSUS WHALEACONDA
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see the giant whale bite the normal whale in half, and then a hundred thousand eels swim out in all different directions.

Whales aren't full of eels, hovercrafts are.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2010


*makes scrinchy goggle-eyed Beckian startled face*

Folks, this is exactly the kind of news those enviro-nazis don't want you to know about. They want us to believe whales are peaceful vegetarians who live in a socialist paradise under the sea. Well, folks, we now know this is a lie. Just like global warming and evolution. This is incontrivertible proof that when God created man 6,000 years ago, he started hunting and eating meat not because he was evil but because it was kill or be killed, people. We killed off all the megawhales, and we burned their oil to light our way to America, and that's why health care for illegal immigrants hurt in the BP spill will do nothing for this country but send it right back into the toothy maw of fascist megawhales.

*pause*

I want to talk to you now about buying gold . . .
posted by gompa at 3:03 PM on July 1, 2010


Anybody else see this right after reading the new China Mieville novel? Which is called Kraken? No? Just me?
posted by bokane at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like if it'd still exist.
posted by GlassHeart at 3:45 PM on July 1, 2010


Do not taunt Mr Splashy Pants.
posted by ZsigE at 3:55 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whale eat whale?
Whale puke jello!!
posted by Iron Rat at 5:26 PM on July 1, 2010


Those scientists got it all wrong! Why, that giant fun whale is just playin and tossin that little whale up for a big ol' splash! Like a kiddie in a pool! Wheeeeee! Do it again, mega whale!

Maybe that'll keep away the nightmares...
posted by orme at 5:35 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]




"I love Anaconda! It's two hours of watching Ice-T trying not to curse" - Nat the Hat (If anyone gets the reference, I love you forever.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:21 PM on July 1, 2010


Nay the Hat from Hitman? Wouldn't he know it was Ice Cube?
posted by Artw at 7:55 PM on July 1, 2010


I love you forever for correcting my quote. Consider yourself spoused.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:36 PM on July 1, 2010


Best bit of Anaconda is when John Voight gets spat out of the beast's gullet. I forget, is he canjun or Indian or French or something in that one?
posted by Artw at 8:51 PM on July 1, 2010


Would a whale twice this big be twice as cool, or four times?

Eight.

[I am uninterested in your silliness, but I will still correct your math.]
posted by ryanrs at 1:36 AM on July 2, 2010


Someone needs to do a 3D movie on whales STAT.

Am I the only one without the the slightest sense of size proportion anymore?
posted by blook at 3:09 PM on July 3, 2010


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