University of Georgia researchers recently recovered a fossil jaw bone from an Atlantic gray whale fossil belonging to a grey whale, a kind of whale hunted to extinction in the 1700s, was found off the Georgia coast by .The Atlantic gray whale was hunted to extinction long ago, the Pacific (or California) gray whale survives today and is still nearly as common as it ever was.
The scientists found the bones during the course of their research, which involved the comparison of the Atlantic gray whale with the Pacific (or Californian gray) whale. The population of the Pacific whale remains at the level it was before whaling began in the 1800s.
Along with others, UGA geoarchaeology professor Ervan Garrison fully recovered the fossilized whalebone near Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, which is about 20 miles off the coast of Georgia.
The recovery took two years, because the fossil was buring in debris. The total skeleton pieces measured almost 1.5 meters in length. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institute are currently working with the fossil.