Excavating an Extinct Toothed Whale

Smithsonian Institution

A time-lapse video shows researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute racing to excavate the fossil of an extinct toothed whale on a beach in PiƱa, Panama. The fossil is from the Squalodontidae group, commonly known as "shark-toothed dolphins." Before they remove the fragile bones, they have to encase them in a plaster jacket. It's challenging work and they need to finish before the tide comes in.

You can read Dr. Nicholas Pyenson's account of the excavation on our blog.