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Surfers find fossil on beach

Two surfers enjoying an particularly low tide on a Santa Cruz beach, have come across the skeletal remains of a whale

Some surfers enjoying the waves at a Santa Cruz beach during an "extremely low tide", were walking across part of the seabed where the ocean had receded, and stumbled upon some bones. The bones, a row of vertebrae, were photographed by one of the surfers, a Redditor calling himself "Donkahones". Donkahones uploaded the picture along with the caption "So I went surfing and saw a dinosaur".

Whale, what do you know?

 

It wasn't a dinosaur precisely, but it was still something old and extinct. Director Gary Griggs of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, spoke to the Huffington Post, and gave his views on the findings. In his opinion, the bones are from an ancient, and extinct species of whale from the Pliocene-era, some 3-5 million years ago. He bases this opinion on the rocks the whale bones were found in, a sedimentary rock known as a Pliocene Purisima formation. "They… formed in a shallow marine environment and contain lenses of mollusk shells… as well as numerous marine mammal fossils" he explains.

 

This is not the first time a find like this has been discovered in the area. During the construction of a seawall in 2009, a similar, 44-inch vertebrae of a fossilized whale was found as well.

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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