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Skeleton of Prehistoric Whale Found

May 14, 1986

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) _ The 30-foot skeleton of a whale that could be almost 9 million years old has been recovered from a construction site and is being sent to a museum.

The bones, from a baleen whale, were spotted last Wednesday by a paleontologist monitoring construction at the site 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

″Southern Orange County is probably one of the richest areas for fossil marine animals in the world,″ said Rod Raschke of RMW Paleo Associates, which monitors construction projects under a county ordinance.

The scientist noticed the outline of the whale’s massive head minutes after it was exposed by earth-moving equipment.

Construction at the housing development has stopped while the bones are packed for shipment to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, said Steve Goolian, spokesman for developer H.R. Remington Properties.

The age estimate is based on tests of other bones found in the area. Since 1980, skeletons of whales and a four-tusked walrus have been found in the same general area.

Goolian said the company will pay the estimated $10,000 cost of retrieving the skeleton.

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