A Smithsonian was left with a cetacean skull in his care for over half a century ago. It wasn’t known that the skull was actually an undiscovered species of a prehistoric dolphin. It was placed in an archived and stored away with people not thinking about it too much; however recently it has surfaced that it was actually an important piece of discovery that has been sitting right under the table. The cetacean skull has been identified by Smithsonian paleontologists, is believed to be a relative of the now modern Asian River dolphin. It simply shows that there are still many discoveries in the world that people should pay attention to.
Knowing More About The Cetacean Skull
Before, a mapping of the prehistoric skull was conducted at Alaska’s Yakutat borough; a prehistoric skull was unearthed at this place. The skull was damaged and the specimen was sent to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where it stayed for around 60 years without garnering too much attention. It was not until then that a Smithsonian paleontologist luckily found its existence in the archives. Even though the skull has been damaged, there were clear signs that it belonged to an ancient form of dolphins. It was an old fossil that can hold the key to the evolution of the Oligocene period.
Not only that but, news state that researchers are also curious about the place where the skull was discovered. Locations like Alaska are not usually places where marine mammals dwell which makes it even more surprising to see a very rare find and also a new discovery at that. As the skull is studied it’s the nearest kin is said to be the modern river dolphins. There have been also prior discoveries about fossils in 2015 where dinosaur bone fragments were extracted with blood cells. The bones have been in the Natural History Museum of London for a century and more even before the shocking discovery happened.