Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of numerous whale fossils, dating back from seven million years ago, in Northern Chile. On further analysis it was revealed that the site in question is actually home to numerous other specimens, so far no less than 80 fossils have been recovered from the whale graveyard.
“In 15 days, we have had almost 15 whales. It really was a surprise. We didn’t expect to find so many fossils in one place,” said site manager John Vega.
The whales had been perfectly preserved in the sedementary rock beneath the Atacama desert, with a number of fossils being unearthed in pristine condition, including a family group that appears to be a mother, father and baby whale. This area was long known to be a good place for finding whale fossils, popularily known among the locals as “Whale Hill.”
All these marvelous and valuable fossils, however, could’ve been lost forever, or even worse, destroyed by a potential highway which was projected to pass through the site. Luckily, paleontologist Mario Suarez managed to persuade his government to recover the bones first. Moreover, the government now plans to build a new museum to house what appears to be an amazing collection.
Experts working on the site believe that the discovery has a global importance, as there has never been a find of this size or diversity anywhere in the world. Their discovery wasn’t limited to whale fossils, either, as remains of sharks, dolphins and seals were also found.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 ZME Science
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