Whales in Japan lake!
Last Updated: Thursday, August 06, 2009, 09:45
Matsue: Fossils collected and kept by a clam fisherman in western Japan have been found to be the back and jaw bones of whales that lived about 13 million years ago, local researchers said.

Takeo Kanesaka, an 86-year-old freshwater clam fisherman, had gathered about a dozen pieces of what he described as "strange bones" from the bottom of Lake Shinji over the last 20 years and kept them at his home.

Belatedly he took them to a Shimane prefectural nature museum in July on the advice of an acquaintance, and an analysis has found that the fossils came from a sea mammal belonging to the baleen whale group, researchers at the facility said yesterday.

Shigenori Kawano, a researcher at another Shimane natural history museum, said the find proves the lake was part of what is the Sea of Japan and was deep enough for whales to live in some 13 million years ago.

Discoveries of similar whale bone fossils have been reported from several locations in Japan but this was the first from Lake Shinji, a brackish lake known as a major site for freshwater clam fisheries in the country.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 06, 2009, 09:45

Tag: WhaleJapanLakeFossils
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