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Dig continues at San Diego Zoo after whale fossil is found

September 18, 2010 | 11:33 am

Paleontologists from the San Diego Natural History Museum are continuing Saturday to work toward excavating a 3-million-year-old whale fossil found during a construction project at the San Diego Zoo.

The baleen whale fossil was unearthed during digging to install a storm-water runoff tank. Other whale fossils have been found in San Diego County, but it's unusual to find an intact skull along with the vertebrate and flippers.

The fossil will be taken to the museum in Balboa Park for analysis and possible public display.

Gino Calvano, the paleontologist who first spotted the fossil, immediately called his wife, Lan Nguyen, to share his excitement. "She looks at me differently now," he said.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Joe E. Adli, a San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologist, brushes away sand while working on the tail vertebrate of the fossil. Credit: Ken Bohn / Sae Diego Zoo