In 2007, Cathy Neilson was wading in Lake Waccamaw when she stumbled across the skull of a whale. Nearly three million years ago, the ocean covered the state's Coastal Plain, and as limestone formed the ocean floor, it covered and preserved the skull. It was recovered, cleaned, and preserved and is now being studied to determine what group it belongs to. Evidence proves that it comes from the whale family Balaenidae, which includes the right and bowhead whales. However, since there are several different kinds of living and extinct baleenids, which one came from Lake Waccamaw?