A whale skull about 12 million years old was found on a beach in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, according to a local museum.
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The discovery was made in October by Pennsylvania native Cody Goddard, who was searching for fossils and shark teeth, a popular activity in the area, the Calvert Marine Museum said in a statement.
“We felt like we’d won the World Cup of Paleontology!” said Stephen Godfrey, the museum’s director of paleontology.
“We don’t yet know what Miocene cetacean species this is,” he added. “We won’t know until it’s ready for review.”
According to the museum, it took two months to extract and move the skull, which is embedded in a block of sediment. The whole thing weighs about 295 kilos.
According to the museum, it is the most complete fossil whale skull found in the Calvert Cliffs area and was christened “Cody” after its discoverer.
Mr Godfrey said the skull was taken to the museum’s fossil laboratory and special tools would be used to pry it from the sediment, a process that will take several months.