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Basilosaurus

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Scientific Classification

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Mammalia

Order

Cetacea

Family

Basilosauridae

Subfamily

Basilosaurinae

Genus

Basilosaurus

Species

Basilosaurus sp.

Basilosaurus, formerly known as Zeuglodons are a group of primitive whales that are thought to have died out 30 million years ago. These primitive beasts look nothing like today’s whales. They were long and serpentine, and they may have been able to crawl onto land, perhaps to have their young on shore or to travel overland to spawn in secluded lakes. Basilosauruses are suggested often as the explanation for sea serpent and lake monster reports.

The monster has recently been re-named the Basilosaurus in accordance with scientific naming conventions, whereby the first name given to a species, even if it is erroneous, is the official one. “Basilosaurus" is a name suitable for reptiles and dinosaurs, and was mistakenly given to the creature before it was realized to be a mammal. However, the new name has been slow to catch on in the cryptozoology community, and these creatures seem to be far more frequently labeled Basilosaurus by cryptozoologists.

If these primitive whales are still alive, they would certainly fit with the main characteristics found in standard sightings of lake monsters and sea serpents. Many lake monsters and sea serpents present an elongated, serpentine shape, like Basilosauruses. In addition, many sea serpents and lake monsters have been reported from northern waters that
Basilosaurus
are thought to be too cold for reptiles such as plesiosaurs or giant snakes, but these same waters would be fine for an aquatic mammal.

Sea serpents and lake monsters are also frequently described as having bits of hair (especially a mane) and as swimming with vertical spinal flexure, both characteristics of mammals, not reptiles.

Even though the latest Basilosaurus fossils are around 30 million years old, this is not a terribly formidable barrier to the idea that they might have lived into modern times. Whale fossils of any kind are extremely rare, and the fossil record of sea creatures in general is quite spotty.

Basilosaurus probably evolved from mesonychids, a family of hoofed predators, or from very close relatives of the mesonychids. Some of the earliest whales even had rows of tiny hooves along the edges of each flipper (early hoofed animals had larger numbers of hoofed toes than today’s modern ungulates such as cows and horses).

In recent years the animal have become the primary focus of several cryptozoology researchers who theorize that the animal may be responsible for some modern reports of Lake Monsters and Sea Serpents.

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