June 9, 2017 at 10:09 am #23206
We had a great storm and I found these fossils this morning. Would anybody be so kind as to help identify the species of whale and what the age of these fossils might be?
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.June 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm #23211Victor PerezParticipantJune 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm #23213
@vperez Thank you for the information i found them in Cape Town this morning as you might know we had a massive storm for a couple of days .When i walked on the beach this morning they where all lying in close proximity from each otherJune 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm #23680June 13, 2017 at 4:28 pm #23686Lee ConeParticipant
It’s pretty difficult to identify species material from beach finds. I was curious the location and guessed maybe the California coast because of the kelp and mountains in the background? I find very similar-looking material in the coastal rivers around Charleston, SC (SE U.S.). Judging from the dog footprint they are not from a huge whale, but it appears to be a very nice assortment of vertebrae from different parts of the skeleton. At least two thoracic, and several lumbar, a few caudal. From the size variation I think that several individuals may be represented here, and one small vert may be porpoise. I, too, would guess baleen on the whale ones.June 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm #23687Lee ConeParticipant
It will be interesting to see what others might say. Nice finds, though. 🙂June 14, 2017 at 12:04 am #23696Victor PerezParticipant
I’m wondering if it came from the same area as the West Coast Fossil Park or material from there was transported by the storm. If so, the bones are about 5-7 million years old.June 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm #23697
Hi Lee @lcone –
Wish it was California, but I found them in Cape Town, South Africa — still a stunning city though :-). Thank you for the information.June 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm #23698
@vperez I do not think it could be from there as that fossil park is not close to the ocean. The area where I picked up the whale fossils I have also found some fossil shark teeth there on some occasions. (Always after some rough weather there is something to pick up 🙂June 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm #23757June 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm #24021Bobby BoesseneckerParticipant
Hi all, sorry for the delayed response! Thanks for tagging me, Eleanor. Definitely from a large cetacean, and if Pliocene or late Miocene, baleen whale is the most likely possibility. Unfortunately as @lcone stated above, it’s not really possible to say much more about the specimens.
HOWEVER – please keep your eyes peeled for skull fragments and earbones! South Africa has a limited but very critical assemblage of marine mammals that is poorly documented, but efforts by my colleauge Romala Govender are changing that. If you find anything further that is more diagnostic (i.e. skull bits and earbones), then I strongly recommend contacting Dr. Govender at Iziko Museums.June 21, 2017 at 1:40 am #24025
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