Perfectly preserved 5,000-year-old whale skeleton found in Thailand

A perfectly preserved whale skeleton believed to be up to 5,000 years old has been discovered in Thailand.

Archaeologists discovered the fossilised bones earlier this month in Samut Sakhon province, around seven miles inland and just to the west of Bangkok.

They believe the 12metre (39ft) long skeleton is a Bryde's whale that was washed ashore between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Researchers hailed the rare find and hope it could give an insight into the natural history of marine creatures.

Marcus Chua of the National University of Singapore said: "There are few whale subfossils in Asia and even fewer are in such good condition [as this].''

Thailand's environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said around 80 per cent of the whale's skeleton had so far been uncovered.

The find includes the whale's vertebrae, ribs, fins and one shoulder blade as well as its head - which measures around three metres.

He said the whale bones were ''very fragile'' and the painstaking evacuation had been taking place since the start of the month.

Varawut told local media the skeleton will provide information about the "paleobiological and geological conditions at that time, including sea level estimation, types of sediments, and the contemporary biological communities at that time."

Thailand's Department of Mineral Resources said: ''The whale remains will provide important evidence for the penetration of seawater into the land thousands of years ago. We can also study the history and evolution of whales and marine life in the past.''

Researchers will now examine the bones and have them carbon-dated. The results are expected in December.

The expedition also found the remains of other living things in the surrounding areas such as shark teeth, stingray fossils, shells, crabs, barnacles and whale bones.

Added:

By: NewsFlare (116523.00)

Tags: News, preserved 5000-year-old, whale skeleton, found

Location: Thailand