Perucetus colossus: An ancient whale claimed the title of heaviest animal ever in 2023


An artist’s impression of Perucetus colossus

Alberto Gennari

In August, the blue whale was cut down to size. Once known as the heaviest animal to have ever existed, that title has now been claimed by a gargantuan species of ancient whale discovered in Peru. The oversized beast, dubbed Perucetus colossus, has delighted people around the world.

The story of P. colossus began in 2010, when Eli Amson at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart in Germany and his colleagues unearthed the partial skeleton of an enormous whale in southern Peru. The…

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