Fossil whale unearthed, registered as natural monument

October 19, 2023

A fossil whale dating back to the Miocene period was discovered in Hosan-ri of Myonggan County, North Hamgyong Province.

A research group of the History Faculty of Kim Il Sung University conducted a survey and excavation in the ri, together with employees of the Myonggan County national heritage protection and management station, from July 2021 to February this year.

They found one fossil bone of the head of a whale, ten fossil ribs, twelve fossil vertebral bones, four fossil tree leaves, 260 pieces of sporomorph and 18 fossil diatoms in the middle layer of the Miocene of the Neogene of the Cenozoic era.

In the course of intensifying research into the 8-metre-long fossil whale, the history and resources science faculties of the university confirmed that it is a kind of whale which became extinct on the Earth after living until the mid-Miocene epoch of the Neogene of the Cenozoic era (15.97 million to 11.63 million years ago) and judged and classified it as the Myonggan fossil whale.

They also proved through a study into sporomorph and fossil diatoms that the then Hosan-ri area had consisted of vast sea and land, with natural weather conditions favourable for the existence of animals and plants.

The discovery of a fossil whale, sporomorph and fossil diatoms by Kim Il Sung University provided material foundations for scientific research into the origin and evolution of whales and ecological environment in Korea, as well as clear evidence that evolution of animals and plants including mammals had continued even in the Miocene of the Neogene of the Cenozoic era (23.03 million to 5.33 million years ago) with sufficient paleontological prerequisites  favourable for the birth of mankind.

The fossil whale was inscribed as natural monument No. 299.


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