Whale (Cetacean) Vertebra. From North Carolina, U.S.A. These are found along with Megalodon and Mako teeth in the same locations and make a good companion fossil. In life the Megalodon would have preyed on Whales, and this is evidence in the rib fossils that are found with shark tooth bite marks. Artwork by Nobu Tamura.
Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placentalmarine mammals. They are an informal grouping within the infraorder Cetacea, usually excluding dolphins and porpoises. Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetartiodactyla with even-toed ungulates and their closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses, having diverged about 40 million years ago. The two parvorders of whales, baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti), are thought to have split apart around 34 million years ago.