Western Science Center in Hemet Receives Fossil Whale

For Immediate Release

Western Science Center in Hemet Receives Fossil Whale

HEMET –The largest natural history museum in Riverside County has a new arrival – the Western Science Center has received a fossil whale from Los Angeles County-based mitigation company Paleo Solutions, Inc.
In September 2015, a Paleo Solutions’ paleontologist watching construction excavations for the Polo Ranch housing development in Scott’s Valley, California, spotted a bone that was unearthed by heavy equipment. More bones were exposed, and the bone was identified as an extinct species of baleen whale. The specimen is approximately 3-5 million years old.

Several jackets of material were delivered to the museum on Friday, June 22nd, and the largest of those jackets will be on public display outside of the museum’s main building near the Simulated Dig Site.
Western Science Center staff and volunteers will immediately begin the lengthy process of preparing the whale out of the jacket and removing the surrounding sediment, which visitors will be able to observe as part of their regular museum admission.

Visitors to the Western Science Center will also have the opportunity to put forward their family-friendly ideas for the new arrival’s name, which will then be voted on by WSC staff and announced on July 11th. Suggestions can be submitted either online at WesternScienceCenter.org or at the admissions desk. “Whales have been part of California’s ecosystems for millions of years; we’re excited to give our visitors the chance to give their new neighbor a name!” says Marketing & Events Specialist Brittney Stoneburg.

The recovery and permanent preservation of this exciting fossil discovery could not have been made possible without the hard work and dedication of Paleo Solutions’ salvage and laboratory staff; support and assistance of the Lennar Corporation, Independent Construction Company, Albion Environmental, and City of Scotts Valley; and vision and commitment of the Western Science Center staff and volunteers.

For more information, please contact:
Brittney Stoneburg, Marketing & Events Specialist (951)791-0033 | bstoneburg@westerncentermuseum.org

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