Basilosaurus was an archaic whale that lived during the late eocene 40–35 million years ago. A streamlined body and paddle-like forelimbs show it was a fast swimmer. Saw-edged teeth suggest it hunted. Small hind limbs reveal that it descended from land-dwellers.
Scientists who discovered Basilosaurus first thought it was a reptile and named it “regal lizard.” Today we know it was a mammal.
This whale fossil came from Scott County, Mississippi. It is one of many partial Basilosaurus skeletons that have been found in Mississippi and Alabama.