San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Paleontology]

Photos of Chula Vista Fossil Whale

Story of the excavation of this whale
[Photo of partially cleaned whale skull, supported by its plaster jacket, on a cart in a museum workspace.] April 2, 1998: A few days after being brought in from the excavation site, the base of the whale skull is partially exposed. This view is looking forward toward the long bones of the snout.
April 2: This angle gives a better view of how the plaster jacket supports the bones. The green bulb is used to gently blow away loosened dirt. [View of the skull from the side.]
[Skull still supported by plaster shell, but now the bones are clearly exposed.] May 20: Experienced fossil preparator Don Swanson is almost finished with the underside of the skull.
May 20: Careful work with dental tools, fine blades, and brushes is needed to clean the intricate bones of the ears and base of the skull. [Closeup of the preparator's hands.]
[A second whale skull found at the same site.] June: Preparation in progress on a second whale skull found at the same site.
Photos by Judy Gibson 1998