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Spotlight: Ancient Whale Fossils in OC

The recently unearthed fossils of four new whale species dating back 17 to 19 million years ago, announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, calls into question the prevailing scientific consensus that this group of whales had become extinct five million years earlier.

Cal State Fullerton paleontologist Meredith Rivin, of the John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center, is studying the fossils that had been unearthed during an Orange County highway construction project in 2008. Hundreds of fossilized sea creatures were embedded in the rock. “Once I started focusing on the large whale bones, I realized that we were looking at four new species of ancient whales,” Rivin said recently. Read more here.

As news spread about the find, news agencies ran stories. Here is a sampling of the coverage this year:

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