Prehistoric whales exposed in Chilean fossil bed

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2011 6:29 PM
Prehistoric whales exposed in Chilean fossil bed

Scientists from Chile and the Smithsonian Institution have been working to protect a huge collection of whale fossils found in the Atacama desert.

Those involved in the project say about 80 whales have been preserved in sedimentary rock, and that many of the fossils are completely preserved, including a family group that appears to be a mother, father and baby whale.

The area outside the town of Bahia Inglesa has long been called "Whale Hill" by locals, and was about to be paved over in a coastal highway expansion until paleontologist Mario Suarez persuaded his government to recover the bones first.

The government now plans to build a new museum to house what appears to be an amazing collection.