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EAR BONE OF WHALE - 15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina

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Home > FOSSILS > SHARK, FISH AND WHALE FOSSILS

   
EAR BONE OF WHALE (TYMPANIC BONE)

15 million years old
  
Lee Creek Mine, Aurora,
North Carolina, USA

  
Land mammals receive sound through the air and have ear bones that are attached to the skull.  Underwater this makes identifying the direction of sounds difficult because of unwanted vibrations coming from the skull. Whales, that are descended from land mammals, have solved this problem by partially separating the bones from the skull.  

The tympanic bone is unique to whales. Unlike most of the other bones in a whale’s skeleton it is very hard, dense and heavy, which is why it is most easily fossilised.  

The Lee Creek phosphate mine in North Carolina is famous throughout the world for its shark, fish and whale fossils, which date from the Miocene period. Some whale bones have teeth marks attributed to the giant shark Carcharocles megalodon.
   
This fossil is from an old collection and is thought to have been collected in the 1980s. It is not quite complete but a good example.

   
Click on a picture for a larger image


Size:  10 x 6 x 5 centimetres
Weight:  242 grams

PRICE: £25.00
EAR BONE OF WHALE  -  15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina
EAR BONE OF WHALE  -  15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina EAR BONE OF WHALE  -  15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina EAR BONE OF WHALE  -  15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina EAR BONE OF WHALE  -  15 million years old - Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina