Ancient Whale Bones Accidentally Discovered in Oceanside - NBC 7 San Diego
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Ancient Whale Bones Accidentally Discovered in Oceanside

The bones about about 120,000 years old, according to scientists

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    Ancient Whale Bones Accidentally Discovered in Oceanside

    NBC 7’s Danielle Radin speaks with a Poway paleontologist about a discovery that has been 120,000 years in the making. (Published Tuesday, June 4, 2019)

    Construction workers in Oceanside accidentally made a whale of a discovery: ancient whale bones. 

    They were unearthed in May near North Pacific Street. A large hotel is being constructed there. 

    "They were digging and at the last cut into the Earth, there they were," said Todd Wirths, Senior Paleontologist at Brian F. Smiths & Associates in Poway. "The fragments of a prehistoric whale." 

    Wirths said it is rib bones, possibly from a gray whale, that lived during the Ice Age. 

    "The bones are about 120,000 years old," said Wriths. "We can tell because of  the sedimentary deposits they were found in." 

    Wirths said sea levels were higher back then. The whale died, and its ribs were washed ashore onto the beach, where they stayed for hundreds of thousands of years. 

    "This adds to our knowledge of prehistoric life on the planet," said Wriths. 

    Wriths is now tasked with gluing the rib bones together in the correct order. They will then be sent to San Diego's Natural History Museum to be preserved.