About

Cerro Ballena is a unique paleontological site located in Atacama Region of Chile, north of the town of Caldera, along the Pan-American Highway. During road construction that started in 2010, paleontologists discovered a rich fossil site containing the dozens of whale skeletons, along with the remains of other extinct marine mammals and other marine vertebrates. In 2011, paleontologists from Chile and the United States conducted rapid documentation and digitization of this site, before road construction was completed in early 2012. This website provides a resource to explore how paleontologists studied this important site, and what paleontologists know about the amazing fossils from Cerro Ballena.

The scientific team involved in studying Cerro Ballena includes the principal investigator, Dr. Nicholas D. Pyenson (Smithsonian Institution), and co-principal investigators Dr. Carolina S. Gutstein (Universidad de Chile), Prof. James F. Parham (California State University, Fullerton), Dr. Jacobus Le Roux (Universidad de Chile), Dr. David Rubilar Rogers (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago), and Mr. Mario E. Suárez (Universidad de Chile). 3D digitization support comes from the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office 3D Lab.

This website is designed and maintained by Holly Little (Smithsonian Institution).