The San Diego Zoo was digging a hole in order to build a new storm water equalization tank. The construction process was put on hold, however, when workers came across the bones of a 3 million-year old whale.
The construction crew was using an excavotor to dig through the fine grain sand when suddenly, the machine hit something solid. The crew slowed things down to examine there find, and lo and behold, there was a 3 million-year old whale beneath their shoes.
The LA Times reports that paleontologists expected to find a few fossils in the process of digging the water equalization tank. They expected to find a few shark teeth, some old shells, but not a 20 foot long whale. What is even more amazing is the fact that the skull was preserved along with most of the bones.
"A lot of times the skull gets separated after the animal dies," said Gino Calvano, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Discovery reports that the whale lived during the Pliocene era, when San Diego was underwater.