Chilean teenagers discover fossil whales


This is a video about a Pliocene whale, found near Orciano Pisano in Italy.

From The Independent in South Africa:

Whale fossils found near Chilean village

June 30 2007 at 11:38AM

By Rodrigo Martinez

Los Maitenes – Chilean teenagers on a field trip have found what experts say could be a treasure trove of fossils from whales which died millions of years ago.

Teenagers from a school in Concon, a town on the Pacific coast, found the fossils last month in the hills near the village of Los Maitenes, nearly six km from the sea and 160km from the capital Santiago.

They found fossilised jawbones, backbones and ribs of four whales which scientists say likely died five million years ago.

Geologists expect to find more whale fossils in the area. “What we have to work out is whether we’re dealing with a few examples that have washed in on the tide or whether we’re talking about a real whale cemetery,” said Hernan Vergara, a marine geologist studying the find.

Vergara, who teaches at the nearby University of Valparaiso, said the gentle hills around Los Maitenes were once part of the sea bed.

The teenagers found the fossils while on a field trip with their biology teacher Veronica Andrade.

“We got to the place thinking we might find a bone, something small and some invertebrate fossils,” Andrade told Reuters. “But because the kids are restless they fanned out all over the area and they found lots of fragments close to the surface.”

Local authorities are hailing the discovery as one of the most important of its kind in central Chile and say they plan to declare the area a national monument, which would give the area protected status.

“I don’t know of any other find like this,” said Valparaiso Governor Ricardo Bravo, who added the provincial government was considering building a natural history museum on the site.

Fossil gray whale in Andijk, the Netherlands? Here.

Right whale fossil in Japan: here.

Chile and today’s whales: here.

3 thoughts on “Chilean teenagers discover fossil whales

  1. Pingback: Great white shark, megalodon, and evolution | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Chilean coastal wildlife in danger | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Did Chilean prehistoric whales die from algae? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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