Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Ancient whale named in honour of Herman Melville

1st July 2010

A predatory whale that stalked the earth's oceans around 12 million years ago has been named after the author of Moby Dick.

The prehistoric sperm whale has been given the binomial nomenclature 'Leviathan melvillei' in honour of 19th-century author Herman Melville, who included digressions about natural history in his works.

Olivier Lambert, who works at the Natural History Museum in Paris and co-wrote the Nature paper about the discovery, said that Moby Dick made Melville the ideal candidate for providing the whale's name.

'There is a chapter about fossils. Melville even mentions some of the fossils that I studied for my PhD thesis,' he told the Associated Press.

The fossilised remains of Leviathan melvillei, which were unearthed in Peru, show the creature had 14-inch teeth and could have hunted other whales.

Last month, Leviathan author Philip Hoare called for people to fight for the conservation of whales, pointing out that many species have been hunted to the brink of extinction by mankind.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he also revealed that he swam with sperm whales - the inspiration for Melville's Moby Dick - when researching his book.

Latest Blog
The Lost City of Z and other Explorers' Tales
23/03/2017

As the film is released of The Lost City of Z, we take a look at other Explorers' Tales. Plus, see some footage from the film intercut with readings by Charlie Hunnam from The Lost City of Z.

Sally Emerson Relives Her Life
21/03/2017

Are the novels Fire Child and Heat still shocking? They certainly are, says their author Sally Emerson, six of whose novels are being republished this year.

How Eating Well can lead to Living Better
20/03/2017

Myles Hopper describes how and why the pair became preoccupied with healthy eating.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd