Prehistoric whale skeleton uncovered in Tuscan countryside

From the CBC: Prehistoric whale skeleton uncovered in Tuscan countryside.

Italian researchers have found the skeleton of a 10-metre prehistoric whale in the Tuscan countryside, a discovery that could shed light on the ancient environment of the sea, officials said.

The skeleton dates to four million years ago, to the Pliocene epoch, said paleontologists with the Museum of Natural History in Florence who are studying the fossil.

"The finding is spectacular," said Elisabetta Cioppi, an official in the museum’s paleontology department and the co-ordinator of the excavations.

Cioppi pointed to the fact that the skeleton is complete and a variety of organisms were found around the fossil as well. [continue]