Shark Bites Whale

Phys.Org mentions an interesting article published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. The article concerns a fragment of a whale rib, dating to the Pliocene, that shows evidence of a shark bite. In this case the rib also displays evidence of having survived the attack. From Phys.Org:

Scientists know the whale survived because “most of the fossil fragment is covered with a type of bone known as woven bone, which forms rapidly in response to localized infection,” explains Don Ortner, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and authority on the effect of disorders on skeletal tissue. “Biomechanically woven bone is not very strong. The body eventually remodels it into compact bone, but it takes time.” CT scans reveal evidence of inflammation in the bone marrow consistent with infection.

Kallal, R. J., Godfrey, S. J. and Ortner, D. J. (2010) Bone reactions on a pliocene cetacean rib indicate short-term survival of predation event, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
DOI: 10.1002/oa.1199

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3 Responses

  1. This reminds me of Flipperpithecus.

  2. Nah, they are not claiming this is a new species of hominin, just that it was a whale bit by a shark…

  3. [...] Shark Bites Whale « Afarensis: Anthropology, Evolution, and Science Scientists know the whale survived because “most of the fossil fragment is covered with a type of bone known as woven bone, which forms rapidly in response to localized infection,” explains Don Ortner, an anthropologist at … Source: afarensis99.wordpress.com [...]

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