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A 14-foot jawbone of endangered whale discovered

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Posted at 11:27 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 23:27:30-04

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — An almost 14-foot (4-meter) jawbone believed to be from a right whale is now in a museum after a boater spotted it on a barrier island off Florida's Atlantic Coast.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the bone was taken to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville last month. The jawbone was discovered near Jacksonville.

Museum officials say it appears to be a left mandible, which is part of the jawbone. DNA tests are underway to determine if the bone is indeed from a right whale. There are only about 450 right whales left in the world.

The museum currently has a right mandible from a right whale, which was found in 1907.

Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Kerr says it was a "rare, unique discovery."