Temporal range: Late Miocene (Tortonian)
Bianucci & Landini, 2006
Zygophyseter varolai is an extinct cetacean, similar to the sperm whale. The common name of "killer sperm whale" refers both to its relation to modern day sperm whales, and to its similarity in size to and its "probable similar feeding adaptation to the extant delphinid killer whale (Orcinus orca)".
The description for Zygophyseter varolai, published in 2006, is the only species in the genus Zygophyseter. This was based on a fossil, an almost complete skeleton, which dates from the Tortonian Age of the Late Miocene Epoch of Southern Italy. It has a very long zygomatic process, probably for housing the spermaceti organ. Z. varolai has a large body size with large teeth present in both jaws making it capable of feeding on large prey.
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