Fossil whales unearthed in Vrasene

Palaeontologists of the Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (KBIN) have dug up the remains of two fossil whales in Vrasene, in East Flanders. The remains belong to a rorqual and a common whale, and were recovered at a future building lot. Parts of two skeletons could provide more information about the evolution of whales.

Millions of years ago, the area in East Flanders was covered by the sea. The fossils go back to that period.

Whale expert Olivier Lambert is leading the research. He says that part of the bones are from a rorqual that had an estimated length of 10 metres. The rorqual belongs to the same family as the present blue whale, the common rorqual and the humpback.

The second skeleton belongs to the family of the "real" whales, which also includes the North Atlantic right whale and the bowhead whale. Not many fossils have been found yet of these species, which makes the findings even more interesting as they could provide more information to scientists about the evolution of the whale.

The remains will be transferred to KBIN offices in Brussels, where they will be studied in more detail.