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Mysticete Whale Fossil Discovered In Santa Cruz County

Whale's Tail

A relatively well-preserved whale fossil discovered in California’s Santa Cruz County has been excavated by a team of archaeologists.

The Christian Science Monitor indicated in a report that the excavation of the 4-million-year-old fossil, which was initially discovered on September 4, took place last Thursday.

The discovery has been attributed to a paleontologist assigned to monitor a housing development in Scotts Valley who identified the potential.

As a result of the excavation, construction workers at the site were obliged to cease operations until the team — an archaeologist and a couple of paleontologists — managed to successfully excavate the ancient whale remains.

Researchers estimated the whale’s length to have been 25 feet long.

The relatively intact fossil includes pieces of the skull, a significant portion of the jaw, arm bones, vertebrae and shoulder blades, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

In order to keep the bones intact, the excavators were forced to work slowly and carefully, according to paleontologist Scott Armstrong with the Los Angeles County-based archaeological consulting group assigned to the project, Paleo Solutions.

Armstrong indicated that the recently unearthed fossil belongs to an ancestor of the baleen whale known as the mysticete whale.

UC Santa Cruz paleontologist Matthew Clapham was quoted by the Sentinel as having said that the discovery “sounds like it’s a very impressive find” because the bones were relatively well intact.

I think of the fossils you get along the coastline, it’s more common to get a piece of the skull or the brain case or some bones (…) So this sounds like it’s a very impressive find.

In other paleontology coverage here at Immortal News, amateur paleontologist Stephanie Leco discovered the fossilized remains of a T-rex earlier this year while she was digging in her own backyard.

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