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Basilosaurus skeleton

Basilosaurus

In 1913 James Gidley, assistant curator of fossil mammals, Smithsonian Institution, published the paper: A Recently Mounted Zeuglodon Skeleton in the United States National Museum in which he described the first correctly assembled mount of the skeleton of Basilosaurus cetoides, an Eocene whale (34-40 million years old) that was 55 feet long and had vestigial legs (see femur illustration, right).

The skeletal mount was prepared from a composite of individuals partial skeletons. At the time of publication, this was the only mounted Basilosaurus on exhibition in any American museum. The artist is not acknowledged in this publication but the work looks to be that of Sydney Prentice.

Publication

Gidley, James W. 1913. A Recently Mounted Zeuglodon Skeleton in the United States National Museum. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, No. 1975, Vol. 44, pages 649-654 with plates 81-82. Government Printing Office, Washington.

 

Basilosaurus femur


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