360 Tours

Explore Cerro Ballena and the scientific activities of our team in 2011 using these 360 degree spherical panoramas assembled using a GigaPan photography unit. Please make sure Microsoft Silverlight is installed as a plug-in to your browser.

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Adam Metallo and Vince Rossi, both of the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office 3D Lab, work inside a large tent built over the skeleton of MPC 677, the most perfectly preserved of the rorquals whales from Cerro Ballena. Metallo and Rossi use a variety of digitization tools to document the skeleton, while Nick Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, reviews documents in the background. The white spheres and checkerboard images serve as calibration objects for 3D laser scanning.

A spherical panorama of the entire excavation site at Cerro Ballena, in late November of 2011, taken from excavation equipment about 5 meters above an arrangement of three fossil rorqual whale skeletons called "La Familia" (MPC 665, 666, 667). To the north of the site (uphill), black felt tarps indicate the location of additional fossil whale skeletons. To the south of the site (downhill), oncoming traffic along the Pan-American Highway pass within 2 meters of fossils in the excavation site. See the Quarry Map section of this website to see an updated view of the site, which now has two lanes of highway.