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Dorudon Skeleton at Mace Brown Museum

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This is awesome :dinothumb: thanks for sharing 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
5 hours ago, Troodon said:

A super cool new addition to the Mace Brown Museum in Charleston South Carolina a Dorudon atrox skeleton.

So amazing .... did you read the whole story of how this acquisition came to be ?? Crazy path for this cast .... Discovery store to dive bar Tiki mascot!




To quote"

Happy #fossilfriday! The Boesseneckers spent #whalewednesday unboxing this magnificent beast - "Manaia", a cast of the skeleton of the basilosaurid whale Dorudon atrox! Dorudon is an archaeocete and is close to the common ancestry of baleen whales and echolocating whales, and known from the late Eocene of Egypt. This particular cast is based on two different skeletons from the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology excavated in the early 1990s from Wadi Al-Hitan, aka "Valley of the Whales".

Dorudon atrox marks a critical stage in whale evolution as it is fully marine and has flippers, but still retains vestgial hindlimbs and a shearing dentition - primitive holdovers of its recent past as a landlubber! Although the best fossils of Dorudon were discovered in Egypt, the first fossils of Dorudon ever discovered were found right here in the South Carolina lowcountry, in the vicinity of Lake Marion up near I-95 at Mazyck Plantation in the 1840s (possibly by slaves) and named by Robert Gibbes of the prominent Gibbes family of Charleston.

This cast originally hung in the Discovery store in downtown San Francisco and upon its closing, Paleoichthyologist and colleague of the Boesseneckers Dr. Douglas J. Long managed to salvage it; California Academy of Sciences had since shifted from a Natural History focus to a conservation focus and was not interested, so this whale spent the next 15 years guarding over a hoard of precious rum in Doug's Tiki Bar, where it was named "Manaia" - a mythological creature in the Maori culture that is a guardian against evil and serves as a messenger between the world of the living and the dead - quite an apt assignment for a spectacular 36 million year old skeleton that will be teaching students about the past earth long into the future! After 15 years protecting the Tiki Bar, Doug was hired to a new job in southern California and generously offered to give us Manaia if we managed to make arrangements and pay for shipping. Thanks to the generosity of our very own Mace Brown, Manaia arrived here on Tuesday and at a fraction of the cost of a brand new cast.

After some conservation work on Manaia, we hope to suspend the 20-foot long skeleton somewhere on campus. The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, Geology & Environmental Sciences Department, School of Science and Math, and the College of Charleston are indebted to the generosity of Doug and Mace. College of Charleston College of Charleston School of Sciences & Mathematics College of Charleston Geology Department

#whale #whales #whaleontology #fossil #fossils #skeleton #Dorudon #Dorudonatrox #basilosaurid #Basilosaurus #archaeocete #whaleevolution #transitionalfossil #missinglink #eocene #egypt #southcarolina #donation #paleontology #paleontologist #naturalhistory #naturalhistorymuseum #museumexhibit #museum #exhibit

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Hey y'all! Yes, this cast is based on two skeletons from the University of Michigan that were published by Uhen (2004) in the monograph arising from his Ph.D. research - and collected from the late Eocene Gehannam and Birket Qarun formations at Wadi al Hitan in Egypt.

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Great save, Dr. Long!

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