California has a law, according to which any new road construction needs to be supervised on-site by an archaeologist and a paleontologist. The law has recently proved to be useful, as per a report published in the journal Science.
A Laguna Canyon highway-widening project was being supervised by two scientists, who announced on Monday that during their supervision, four new whale species were found by them. The John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center's Paleontologist Meredith Rivin from Fullerton, California, said that these were early toothed baleen whales.
The species were seen in the oceans some 17 to 19 million years ago. Therefore, these are known as the youngest toothed whale species. "By that time, toothed baleen whales were supposed to have been extinct for about five million years or so, and we got a huge diversity of them", said Rivin.
The species have been discovered from a rock, which was dug up by workers between the years 2000 and 2005. In all, eleven species were discovered, of which seven were known to the scientists.
It has been found that along with the Southern California crew, the paleontologists had unveiled more than 30 whale skulls and hundreds of whale bones in a period of five years.
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