Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beautiful new baleen whale skull

Hey Folks,

Thursday evening I received an email from by buddy Karl Heiman, who co-discovered a mysticete skeleton at a seawall construction project last April; the skeleton was headless, but nonetheless is a beautiful find (the excavation was conducted by PaleoResource Consultants and covered here and here). Anyway, on Thursday, as part of the same project, Karl was watching as a backhoe dug a trench, and the bucket chewed right through a rather large bone.

After some careful digging, it turned out to be a nearly complete baleen whale skull - photos he sent me yesterday show what it looked like after it had been entirely excavated in the field: about 5 feet long, and only missing part of the right hand side - the left side of the skull is largely intact. I'll email Karl and ask for permission to use his photos, but otherwise - trust me, it's damn pretty; I almost shed a tear.


Unknown said...

When are you going to be out this way again? You might want to stop by our lab and check out the skull, as well as the odontocete.

Dave Haasl

Robert Boessenecker said...

Hey Dave! Congratulations (and thanks!) on excavating the new whale. Is it in a jacket yet? I saw Dave Maloney in some of the pictures Karl sent me.

I was going to email you about visiting anyway; I will be leaving MT later on in the month, and will be driving through Auburn on June 1st (a tuesday, I think). I'll be honest, I'm pretty anxious to see all the fossils you guys have collected.