RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – A giant prehistoric whale flipper was discovered buried under several feet of mud in Dorchester County this week.
The owner of Palmetto Fossil Excursions, Schuyler Andrulat, said it was a first for her. The first time she had found a whale flipper. The bones were found at the bottom of a pond under refurbishment in the Ridgeville area.
“We made an astounding discovery in that this is the flipper of a very large baleen whale, probably somewhere around 2.5 million years, since we are in the Waccamaw unit,” she said.
“I opened up a small area, and the first thing I came down on was at the end of the humerus and the end of the ulna bones,” explained Andrulat.
Andrulat has been searching for fossils most of her life.
“When I was two years old, I found my first shark teeth on Edisto Beach walking with my mother. And as I got older, she took me hunting at different locations along the coastal plain of South Carolina.”
She is now co-owner of Palmetto Fossil Excursions; they take people on fossil hunts at the 100-acre pit down the road in Dorchester County.
When they learned this lake was going to be deepened, they asked the property owner if they could look for any fossils and even bring some of the dirt to their property to be sifted through.
The discovery was made on Monday. They plan to donate the bones to the museum at the College of Charleston if they want them. 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.
“Take a look at the top of the pine trees, that’s the way I like to describe it to people – imagine standing on the ocean floor and the surface of the ocean is all the way up there, right around where the pine trees are,” said Andrulat.
If you are interested in going on a fossil hunt, you can click here to learn more about the excursions.