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Tetrapod Zoology

Tetrapod Zoology

Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinct

A peculiar whale skeleton is included fortuitously in the sci-fi movie Hunter Prey

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It’s funny how things work out. We looked recently at a ‘mystery’ whale carcass from Baja California. As explained here, it turned out to be a Risso’s dolphin Grampus griseus. I recently watched a 2009 sci-fi movie called Hunter Prey. Should you wish to know more about it, the wikipedia article is pretty good. Anyway, at a few points in the movie, we see the skeleton of what is evidently a living species of cetacean (and not, as I suppose we’re meant to think, that of some weird alien beast). In best hi-tech fashion, I took a few photos of my TV screen, and the images you see here are the result.

There are quite a few places in the world - mostly coastal deserts - where you can go and see sun-bleached cetacean skeletons, lying in the same places where they were deposited in decades or even centuries past. Hunter Prey includes a reference to the ‘Baja dunes’ in the end credits, and wikipedia says that it was filmed in Mexico. Anyway - your task: identify the species we see in the movie. I include a cropped image of its skull.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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