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a large primitive marine cetacean (Basilosaurus cetoides) of the Eocene epoch, with a long serpentlike body, distinctive teeth, and hind limbs


Basilosaurus skeletons are very well preserved and quite common in some places in Egypt and the USA, showing that they grew up to about 18m long.

Word Origin

Latin basileus 'king' + -sauros 'lizard'

Usage Note

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Historical Examples
  • The Alabama doctors declared it a huge reptile, and bestowed upon it the name of basilosaurus.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville

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