Whale of a tale: Rare fossil found in California

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Photo courtesy of Associated Press

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA (CBS/LA)-Rescue crews Friday recovered what officials are calling the oldest victim in history.

L.A.’s Natural History Museum has asked the L.A. Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue team for help recovering an estimated 12- to 15-million-year-old fossil contained on a rock.

The fossil, located on a hillside  in Rancho Palos Verdes, is reportedly that of a rare baleen whale. There are only a handful of such fossils in existence.

Also known as whalebone whales, baleen whales are some of the world’s largest animals and are characterized by having plates for filtering food from water, rather than teeth like in the toothed whales.

Crews comprised entirely of volunteers worked most of the day to extract the 1,000-pound specimen out of a hole and then roll it up a steep
hillside on a customized cart and onto a waiting truck.

Once recovered, the fossil is expected to go on display at the Natural History Museum.

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