Home Science Biology New animal at San Diego Zoo is really old

The San Diego zoo never expected to find what it discovered while excavating a part of its zoo. Construction workers found a three-million-year-old whale fossil. A rare find!


Earlier in the work week ending Friday, September 17, 2010, construction workers were digging into the ground in order to construct a storm water equalization tank on the San Diego, California property of the San Diego Zoo.

The San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park (San Diego, California), is one of the largest (about 107 acres) and most progressive zoos in the world.

World famous for its exotic wild animal exhibits, the zoo contains over four thousand animals (consisting of over eight hundred species).

The nonprofit organization Zoological Society of San Diego operates it as part of the private property of the city of San Diego.

Suddenly, during the construction process, the excavating machine hit something hard. What was it?

Yes, an almost complete fossilized skeleton of a whale that is about three million years old.

That means, about 3,000,000 years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch (which lasted from about 5.3 to 1.8 billion years ago), this immature whale was swimming around in this area (now known as San Diego), which was completely underwater. And, something happened to the whale, resulting in its death. [edited]

The fossilized remains appear to be a 24-foot baleen whale. Included in this rare find is an a intact skull, the vertebrae, and flippers.

Page two quotes Ms. Sarah Siren, the field manager of the San Diego Natural History Museum.



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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University