More than 1,200 feet up on a hillside in Irvine probably isn't the first place you'd expect to find the final resting place of a 40-foot sperm whale, but that's what Melissa Macias stumbled upon last month.
The paleontologist with Santa Ana engineering contractor Psomas noticed something unusual while doing a site survey May 20 at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill.
"I was walking down this hillside. I found a bone outcropping. I followed it and there was more bone and more bone, and then the teeth," Macias recalled. "I knew that it was something big, something exciting. I didn't really know what it was at the time."
The find turned out to be fossils...