The skull of a creature about 18 meters long was washed up on a beach in North Carolina

19.05.2024/20/30 XNUMX:XNUMX    762

The remains were washed ashore and, according to scientists, belong to one of the largest marine mammals in the ocean.

Creepy, huge skull fragment with two rows of jagged, tooth-like edges, was washed ashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The skull fragment appeared on Hatteras Island in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore of the same name, south of the village of Salvo, writes Daily Mail.

The incredible find was reported by the US National Park Service (NPS), which serves this coastal region of the Atlantic Ocean. The researchers examined the fragment of the skull and found that it was about 90 centimeters wide and about 60 centimeters high.

Park service officials suggest that the skull fragment is part of the "cranial cavity" of the sea creature, and that the animal probably could have been up to 18 meters long and weighed about 40 tons. The researchers also suggested that the skull fragment may belong to a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

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These animals have a special structure of the skull, which ensures their unique feeding behavior. What looks like teeth on the skull is most likely a cut off area where the skull was joined to the rest of the body.

Note that humpback whales are filter feeders, so they use a protein structure known as a whisker instead of teeth to help them collect plankton and algae. According to the researchers, whale skulls are relatively flexible, especially at the cranial joints, because they need to open their mouths wide to consume and filter large volumes of water.

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Humpback whales are also known to have mandibles that are not fused to the skull—scientists believe that a recently discovered skull fragment may reveal how the skull was separated from the whale's mandibles.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most humpback whales die from fatal collisions with ships or fishing gear in which they become entangled.

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The researchers believe that the discovered fragment of the whale's skull can help scientists learn more about this species and how and where they live. As a result, local authorities warn that local residents should not try to grab these remains for personal collection, as they are extremely important for science.