‘Unusual’ 650-pound fossil whale cranium present in Maryland, estimated to be 12 million years outdated
A Pennsylvania family discovered a 650-lb fossil whale cranium on the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland.
Cody Goddard, his partner, and their son had been on Matoaka Beach in Calvert County as soon as they observed an enormous, hardened block of sediment laying on the seashore. According to the Calvert Marine Museum, the sediment had an “unusual” fossil protruding from one end.
The discovery was made in October, nevertheless due to the fossil’s sheer dimension, it took about two months for the fossil to be extracted.
The whale cranium fossil was about 5 and a half toes prolonged, 18 inches enormous, and weighed roughly 650 kilos, in maintaining with the curator of paleontology on the Calvert Marine Museum, Stephen J. Godfrey.
Godfrey was contacted by Goddard about his discovery in October and labored with him to have a look at the massive fossil.
Godfrey acknowledged that the burden of the fossil principally obtained right here, not from the cranium itself, nevertheless from the weird, cemented sediment that had formed throughout the cranium.
“In a way, it created its own sarcophagus – its own little burial chamber that preserved it for millions of years and for us to be able to find,” he acknowledged.
On Dec. 19, Godfrey and his group from the Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club effectively eradicated the fossil from the seashore and launched it to the bayside museum for extra evaluation.
According to Godfrey, the cranium is spherical 12 million years outdated, based on the sediment age alongside Calvert Cliffs. The cranium obtained right here from a baleen whale, a form of whale that makes use of its tooth to filter its prey, plankton, from ocean water.
Compared to modern baleen whales, resembling humpback whales, the prehistoric whale the cranium obtained right here from was pretty small and slim at 5 1/2 toes prolonged and about 18 inches enormous.
“This would have been a very hydrodynamic type of whale, so it could probably swim fairly quickly,” Godfrey acknowledged. “And, of course, you’d want to because you have Megalodon swimming at that time, and you’re doing all you can to avoid being Megalodon’s next meal.”
Godfrey well-known that the cranium might be further totally analyzed in about two months, which might be the time period needed to take away the hardened sediment surrounding the cranium.
When the cranium is free of sediment, Godfrey and his group could have the flexibility to resolve which baleen whale species the cranium belonged to.
According to the Calvert Marine Museum, the cranium — referred to as “Cody” after Cody Goddard — might be essentially the most full fossil whale cranium ever recovered from that a part of Calvert Cliffs.