A specimen of Cetopirus complanatus dating from the 10th century A.D. is described from archaeological excavations at Tiel, the Netherlands. Two vertebral parts of northern right whales Eubalaena glacialis: a vertebral arch and an epiphysis, were also found, possibly dating from the same period. The disc-like epiphysis had been used as a cutting board. The specimens probably had reached Tiel through early trade in whale products. Cetopirus complanatus is only known from right whales of the genus Eubalaena. It has not been found in the Northern Hemisphere since the late 19th century. Its host species in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, E. glacialis, is now very rare as a result of whaling.

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Zoologische Verhandelingen

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Naturalis journals & series

Holthuis, L., Smeenk, C., & Laarman, F. J. (1998). The find of a whale barnacle, Cetopirus complanatus (Mörch, 1853), in 10th century deposits in the Netherlands. Zoologische Verhandelingen, 323(27), 349–363.