Basilosaurus reconstruction
Vital statistics
Scientific Name Basilosaurus cetiodes
Length 15 metres
Height 2 metres
Weight 7 tonnes
Diet Carnivorous
Lived 40-35 million years ago
Range Southern USA and Egypt

Basilosaurus was a prehistoric whale from the Late Eocene, about 40 to 35 million years ago.


Basilosaurus was extremely long for a whale, because of its elongated verterbrae. It has been described as the closest a whale came to a snake. Basilosaurus was 18-21 metres long, and its back limbs, being 0.6 metres long, were of no use in locomotion.[1]

Its large, conical teeth were probably used for eating smaller whales, sea cows, and turtles. A skeleton recovered in Egypt contained fishbones and the remains of a small shark.

In popular cultureEdit

Basilosaurus has appeared in Walking with Beasts, and the Walking with Dinosaurs special Sea Monsters.


  1. Bejder, Lars and Hall, Brian K. Limbs in whales and limblessness in other vertebrates: mechanisms of evolutionary and developmental transformation and loss. Evolution and Development, 2002.