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Ancient whale bones from Roman site reveal two long lost species from Mediterranean

ancient whales


Bones from whales that have not swum the Mediterranean Sea for 2,000 years suggest a forgotten Roman whaling industry may have driven these animals to extinction.

The discovery of both North Atlantic right whale and gray whale remains at the strait of Gibraltar confirmed historical accounts of these creatures crossing from the North Atlantic to raise their calves.

Centuries of whaling that peaked in the 19th century almost completely wiped out both species, with small populations managing to cling on off the coast of North America and in the Pacific Ocean. MORE

Header Image: Right whales are no longer found in the Mediterranean, but new evidence suggests they once migrated there to raise their calves. Credit: Getty Images.

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