An Ancient Whale Skeleton, Unexcavated

Nick Pyenson points to a skull and skeleton of a fossil whale.
NDP and J. A. Goldbogen/SI

Nick Pyenson, the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, points to the skull and skeleton of a fossil "toothed" mysticete (baleen whale) on the West Coast Trail of Vancouver Island in 2009. The skeleton, which is being excavated this spring 2012 by Pyenson and his team, is about 23-25 million years old.

Read Dr. Pyenson's stories from the field: "Excavating a "toothed" baleen whale from Vancouver Island."