One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large marine cetacean of the Eocene epoch, having a long, slender body and vestigial fore and hind limbs. Fossils were discovered in the early 1990s.
Genus Basilosaurus, suborder Archaeoceti, order Cetacea
- ‘Then they found tiny legs on a 50-foot long, 40-million year old whale named Basilosaurus.’
- ‘One of these was pictured in the exhibition - the Basilosaurus.’
- ‘In Basilosaurus, nearly all of these structures lay within the body wall, and most parts were immobile.’
- ‘The first of the truly gigantic whales, Basilosaurus had the serpentine shape of a sea monster and short, sharp teeth for hunting sharks and other prey.’
- ‘Although Basilosaurus possessed a fluke and peduncle, Buchholtz dismisses these features because they are too short relative to body length.’
Modern Latin, from Greek basileus ‘king’ + sauros ‘lizard’.
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