Recently, a thought occurred to me. I’ve been reviewing ancient fauna for several years but, in spite of having a user name based on ancient cetacea, I have yet to review a fossil whale. Time to change that with none other than THE fossil whale. At least, what Yowie refer to as a fossil whale, Mammalodon. This whale hails from prehistoric New Zealand and Australia 25 million years ago, being one of the earliest known baleen whales, but having close teeth rather than baleen. Yowie are, as of this review, the only company to have made a model of Mammalodon. Let’s look closer and see how they did!
As a figure from what is essentially a capsule series, this is a small figure, measuring 2.6″ long and 0.3″ high, fitting for an animal that is only a little bigger than a modern dolphin. This is also a figure that is assembled by the people who buy the chocolate, which leads to some gaps. This actually adds to the figure though, as by waggling the tail fluke, the head moves with it. Breaks up the model from the usual whale pose the figure would otherwise have. The body mimics certain modern cetaceans in terms of colour, mostly a grey with a white underbelly, which works well for it.
In terms of accuracy, this isn’t too bad. The head has the general shape, with the compact teeth of the fossils, though perhaps a little narrow in the beak. The addition of striation under the throat is a great addition, like modern baleen feeders, adapted to expand with the large intake of water. Given the proposed feeding method, slurping in creatures in the sea bed, this would make sense to have a throat pouch, as such. The rest fits well, matching the proportions of modern whales, alongside the features of the fossils. Well made.
I adore Yowie for bringing animals from around Australia into the world of toys and figures, with this being a great example. While Basilosaurus is starting to become more common on the toy market, it seems to be the only ancient whale to have made it big, so examples like this are true gems. As this line is long since discontinued, eBay is your best bet for finding these figures. If you find it, get it. It’s worth it!