4-million-year-old whale fossil found in Santa Cruz County - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

4-million-year-old whale fossil found in Santa Cruz County

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SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Paleontologists have excavated the 4-million-year-old fossilized skeleton of whale discovered at a construction site in Santa Cruz County.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1FVzzhN ) the fossil was found Sept. 4 at a housing development in Scotts Valley.

Paleontologist Scott Armstrong tells the newspaper the remains belong to a mysticete whale, an ancestor to the baleen whale. Estimated to be 25 feet long, the fossil is relatively intact — with pieces of the skull, much of the jaw, shoulder blades, arm bones and vertebrae found.

The excavation process began Thursday, as workers using hoes, shovels, brooms and smaller tools slowly unearthed the ancient artifact.

The fossil will travel to the Southern California offices of Paleo Solutions, the archaeological consulting service assigned to the construction project.

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Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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