James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 6.66'
Flow: 10900 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

@rvatrailreport
  • Our last nice day before the rain moves in tonight and all day tomorrow. Trails are very dry all around so enjoy them today if you can.

Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 11:12am
Low Tide: 6:24pm

Twitter Feed @RichmondOutside

Instagram Feed @RichmondOutside

Instagram
  • Prince Humperdinck isnt the only one who can track this
  • Maggie and Walker are back! Richmonds most famous osprey pair
  • Have you checked out the new RichmondOutside podcast? riversideoutfittersrva owner
  • Really great day working with tons of volunteers clearing Evergreen
  • Cool newish sign at the north entrance to the Belle
  • New hardware atop Belle Isle will at least make it
  • Ralph White minced no words when it came to jrps
  • Friend of the program rvatrees gets ready to climb a
  • Saw evidence of the growing controversy surrounding laruspark on a
  • The pawpaws are in along buttermilktrail They should ripen in
  • If you dont follow jamesriverpark you should The incomparable sandysdad
  • Wish I could have gotten closer to this fella to
  • Riding the wissahickon in philly is a blast every time
  • The richmondoutside road trip arrived on the potomacriver in time

Diver Discovers Whale Skull in Virginia Swamp


In the muddy riverbed of a Virginia swamp, one paleontologist discovered something that did not belong there: a massive whale skull. Jason Osborne found the six-foot skull back in 2013, but was unable to retrieve it until recently with the help a team of experienced excavators, and, strangely enough, a floating body bag. Once it was brought onto dry land, experts determined that the bones actually belonged to an extinct species of baleen whales, and it may have died about five million years ago.

“To see and touch things for the first time, that’s a pretty amazing rush,” Osborne told National Geographic.

How did a massive whale—estimated to measure 25 feet long from nose to tail—find its way into Virginia? Much of the Atlantic Coast was actually submerged millions of years ago and where the Potomac River now lies was once an ancient whale calving ground. The region is full of marine fossils and is a treasure trove for paleontologists like Osborne. Not too far away, a team of researchers from Culvert Marine Museum dug up another whale skull in July. That one was estimated to be an astounding 15 million years old.

“But to have such a large and complete specimen is pretty uncommon,” John Nance, the museum’s paleontology collections manager, told The Washington Post. “In a marine environment, the bones are usually scavenged and scattered all about.”

Scattered much like Osborne’s whale. While the rest of the whale’s body may be lost in the swamp, the skull was in remarkably good condition. Experts from Culvert examined Osborne’s discovery and noted a series of deep cuts in the whale’s skull, possibly from a large prehistoric shark called a megalodon. Since there was no sign of growth over the wounds, it is likely that the whale had fallen prey to one of the largest ocean-going predators in Earth’s history.

Osborne’s find also had a special significance as this species of whale has never been seen on the Atlantic coast. That could mean that it is either a new species entirely, or that the whale had traveled far from its home.


Comments