(Biting sperm whale).
Named By: Kimura et al - 2006.
Synonyms: Scaldicetus shigensis, Naganocetus shigensis.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Cetacea, Physeteroidea.
Species: B. shigensis (type).
Size: Approximately 7 meters long.
Known locations: Japan, Nagano Prefecture - Bessho Formation.
Time period: Miocene.
Fossil representation: Single almost complete specimen.
many other prehistoric whales
of its type Brygmophyseter
had teeth in
both the upper and lower jaws. As a mid-sized whale, Brygmophyseter
would have probably been a generalist hunter tackling a variety of
different prey types including fish, squid, and probably other
whales. Not much is known about the hunting behaviour, but if
Brygmophyseter possessed a developed spermaceti
organ like existing
sperm whales do, then it may have been able to use echolocation to
find prey. It has also been suggested to swim in pods like other
whales do, but this is purely conjecture based upon existing whale
behaviour that has been documented and observed.
Although a predator itself, Brygmophyseter has been depicted as a prey item for the gigantic shark C. megalodon. This is a plausible scenario as not only did the two predators swim the oceans at the same time, C. megalodon had a cosmopolitan distribution as evidenced by C. megalodon fossils found all over the world. On top of this large C. megalodon appear to have been specialists at hunting and killing whales like Brygmophyseter.
|More information on these whales can
be found on their respective pages; 1 - Pakicetus,
2 - Ambulocetus, 3 - Rodhocetus, 4 - Dorudon, 5, Brygmophyseter, 6 - Diorocetus.
- Fossil sperm whales (Cetacea, Physeteridae) from Gunma and Ibaraki prefectures, Japan; with observations on the Miocene fossil sperm whale Scaldicetus shigensis Hirota and Barnes, 1995. - Bulletin of the Gunma Museum of Natural History 10:1-23 - T. Kimura, Y. Hasegawa & L. G. Barnes - 2006.