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    Researchers Discover First Fossils of Whale Feces

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers in Italy have found what might be the first samples of fossilized whale feces ever discovered.

    Researchers in Italy have found what might be the first samples of fossilized whale feces ever discovered.

    Ambergris is a substance that scientists think is secreted in sperm whale digestive tracts to break down fish bones and giant squid beaks.

    It is also a desirable ingredient for perfume makers looking for a musky odor to add to their formula.

    A kilogram of ambergris can be worth more than 20 thousand dollars, but it has been replaced in many perfume formulas by synthetic material.

    In the Umbrian badlands of Italy, researchers found fossils that tests show are probably ancient ambergris.

    25 fossils that researchers believe to be ambergris were found in an area of approximately 13,000 square feet.

    Their appearance resembles that of ambergris found today as well as from sperm whales killed in the 1950’s. The pieces of squid beaks found inside – a favorite food of today’s sperm whales – also suggest these fossils are the feces of ancient sperm whales.

    Tests show that the fossils contain eight amino acids that match those found in squid beaks and substances that are only produced by the digestive tract of a mammal.

    What do you think about the new discovery of fossilized whale feces?