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Whale Skull Found On Cape Cod Beach

Marine biologists are trying to figure out how a 400-pound whale skull ended up on a Cape Cod beach.

The mysterious skull was unearthed Tuesday near Ellis Landing Beach in Brewster after workers at a nearby resort spotted a small chunk sticking from the sand, and thinking it was a rock, tried to pick it up.

Misty Niemeyer of the International Fund for Animal Welfare says she believes the 6-foot, 400-pound skull is from a right whale, and had been there for decades.

"We've checked our records back to 1974, and we don't have anything on record that matches there being a whale either stranded there or buried there on the beach, so we suspect that it definitely was from before 1974," Niemeyer said.

The IFAW plans to study the bones further.

"We're going to have a colleague of ours come down in the next month or so and actually extract DNA from the whale bone so we can try to confirm the species and try to get a sense for maybe how old it might be," Niemeyer said.

Niemeyer says the area where the skull was found used to be covered in dunes, but storms in recent years eroded them away.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

This program aired on September 22, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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