2014 Florida Volunteer Updates

As the North Atlantic right whales migrate to the South Georgia/Northern Florida coast each winter volunteers help watch for and capture critical details related to this endangered species. This information helps scientists track the fate of the species and acts as a first alert system to pilots in the shipping lanes to avoid accidental killings. This blog shares the findings, photos and other pertinent information gathered from the Palm Coast Sector Volunteer Team while helping to connect and communicate the many ways we can protect the right whales and sustain our wonderful ocean life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prehistoric whales exposed in Chilean fossil bed

Sharing this article from artdaily.org that was posted on the Provincetown Center for 
Coastal Studies Facebook page. Enjoy!


A prehistoric whale fossil lays in the Atacama desert near Copiapo, Chile. 
More than 2 million years ago, scores of whales congregating off the Pacific 
Coast of South America mysteriously met their end. Maybe they became 
disoriented and beached themselves. Maybe they were trapped in a lagoon 
by a landslide or a ferocious storm. Maybe they died there over a period of 
a few millennia. But somehow, they ended up right next to one another, 
many just several yards (meters) apart, entombed over the ages as the 
shallow sea floor was driven upward by geologic forces and transformed 
into the driest place on the planet. Today, the whales have emerged again 
atop a desert hill more than half a mile (a kilometer) from the surf, where 
researchers have begun to unearth one of the world's best-preserved 
graveyards of prehistoric whales. AP Photo/Museo Paleontologico de Caldera.
SANTIAGO (AP).- Scientists from Chile and the Smithsonian Institution 
have been working to protect a huge collection of whale fossils found in the 
Atacama desert. 

Those involved in the project say about 80 whales have been preserved in 
sedimentary rock, and that many of the fossils are completely preserved, 
including a family group that appears to be a mother, father and baby whale. 

The area outside the town of Bahia Inglesa has long been called "Whale Hill" 
by locals, and was about to be paved over in a coastal highway expansion until 
paleontologist Mario Suarez persuaded his government to recover the bones first. 

The government now plans to build a new museum to house what appears 
to be an amazing collection. 
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.