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Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

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Ancient whale skeleton found on land

Bryde;s whales credit r_mansur

The remains of an ancient whale have been discovered in Thailand. The immaculately preserved skeleton was found inland near the coast in Samut Sakhon, west of Bangkok and is thought to be of a 3,000 to 5,000 year old Bryde's whale - a species that still roams the seas around Thailand today.

Samples from the 39-foot skeleton will be sent for further carbon dating to gauge the whale's age more accurately, and additional analysis of the find could reveal more secrets of how whales like this one lived and the conditions around them at the time. The whale was found on land which has risen up around 12-14 feet from the sea naturally over a period of around 10,000 years.

Bryde's whales, can grow to around 16m in length, spend most of their time alone or in pairs and feast mainly on microscopic prey like plankton, krill and copepods (tiny crustaceans).

Experts are excited to be able to examine such a skeleton that has been preserved in such good condition, with some remains still being uncovered from the site.

Find out more about the fascinating world of whales and dolphins, and help WDC protect them.

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