Paleontologist Melissa Macias shows some the fossil dins to members of the press with Dr. Lipps in the background. (Courtesy Orange County)
For one group of scientists, the local landfill became an unexpected goldmine. Paleontologists were baffled by the recent discovery of 20 sperm whale fossils in the Orange County landfill located in Irvine, California. Pieces from a whales’ flipper, jaw, and skull were uncovered when soil was being moved in preparation for a new disposal area in May. The on-site paleontologist noticed the bones right away and began excavating them, which took just four days.