Prehistoric whale bones discovered in Ridgeville


RIDGEVILLE, SC (WCBD) – A giant prehistoric whale fin was discovered buried under several feet of mud in Dorchester County this week.

Palmetto Fossil Excursions owner Schuyler Andrulat said it was a first for her…the first time she had found a whale fin. The bones were found at the bottom of a pond being renovated in the Ridgeville area.

“We made an amazing discovery in that it is the fin of a very large baleen whale, probably somewhere around 2.5 million years old, since we are in the Waccamaw unit” , she said.

“I opened up a little area and the first thing I came across was at the end of the humerus and the end of the ulna bones,” Andrulat explained.

Andrulat searched for fossils most of his life.

“When I was two years old, I found my first shark teeth on Edisto Beach while walking with my mother. And as I got older, she took me hunting to different places along the coastal plain of the Caroline from the south.

She is now co-owner of Palmetto Fossil Excursions; they take people on a fossil hunt in the 100 acre pit down the road in Dorchester County.

When they learned that this lake was going to be deepened, they asked the owner if they could look for fossils and even bring some of the earth to their property to be sifted.

The discovery was made on Monday. They plan to donate the bones to the College of Charleston Museum if they wish. Several other whale bones were also found in the pond.

Millions of years ago, the area where these bones were discovered would have been a shallow part of the ocean floor.

“Look at the top of the pines, that’s how I like to describe it to people – imagine you’re standing at the bottom of the ocean and the surface of the ocean is way up there , just around where the pines are,” Andrulat said.

If you want to go fossil hunting, you can click here to learn more about excursions.


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