Artificial Neural Networks Invasive species
These are the teeth of an undescribed, new species of toothed baleen whale in the genus Morawanocetus, from Orange County, California. Image courtesy of Meredith Rivin, Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center
Paleontologists in California announced this week that fossils excavated in the early 2000s represent four new species of ancient whales. The toothed baleen whales apparently stuck around longer than scientists once thought, and they may hold clues about how and when whales evolved from toothy giants to the baleen-equipped beasts we see today.
It all began with a road-widening project that was slowly making its way through a rock outcrop in California’s Laguna Canyon in 2000. During such construction work the state requires paleontologists to be on site just in case they stumble upon something interesting. In this case they found something interesting indeed: hundreds of exciting fossilized sea creatures, 30 whale skulls among them.
Four new species of whale were among the findings that paleontologist Meredith Rivin presented at the AAAS annual meeting on Sunday, as reported by ScienceNow. The whale bones date back 17 to 19 million years, upending scientists’ previously held theory that these species were extinct five million years prior.
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