The skeleton of a rare whale unearthed by superstorm Sandy erosion has been discovered on a Florida beach.

WESH reports that an Orlando-area couple was combing New Smyrna Beach for sand dollars when they saw a piece of bone jutting out from an eroded dune. They started digging and uncovered an 8 to 9 foot beaked whale skeleton that is thought to have been buried in the sand for decades.

The bones have been reported to authorities and will be housed at a local marine science center.

Although Sandy passed well offshore of the Florida coast, wind and waves from the storm eroded miles of beaches along the Eastern Seaboard, causing millions of dollars in damage.

According to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, beaked whales forage for food in deep-sea dives that are "deeper and longer than those reported for any other air-breathing species." Their deep-sea habitat makes the species difficult to study, so less is known about them than other whales.

In November, CNN reported that a pair of dead whales that washed ashore in New Zealand in 2010 were confirmed to be spade-toothed beaked whales, one of the rarest species in the world. Data on the species was so rare that it took scientists two years to positively identify the whales.

This isn't the first time rare old whale bones have been found on a U.S. beach this year. In November, the fossilized vertebrae of an extinct whale species were found by surfers on a Santa Cruz, Calif., beach.

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  • A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 16, 2013. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate annually from the Antarctic Peninsula to peek into the Colombian Pacific Ocean coast, with an approximate distance of 8,500 km, to give birth and nurse their young. Humpback whales have a life cycle of 50 years or so and is about 18 meters. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO

  • A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 16, 2013. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate annually from the Antarctic Peninsula to peek into the Colombian Pacific Ocean coast, with an approximate distance of 8,500 km, to give birth and nurse their young. Humpback whales have a life cycle of 50 years or so and is about 18 meters. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO

  • A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 16, 2013. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate annually from the Antarctic Peninsula to peek into the Colombian Pacific Ocean coast, with an approximate distance of 8,500 km, to give birth and nurse their young. Humpback whales have a life cycle of 50 years or so and are about 18 meters long. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO

  • A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 16, 2013. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate annually from the Antarctic Peninsula to peek into the Colombian Pacific Ocean coast, with an approximate distance of 8,500 km, to give birth and nurse their young. Humpback whales have a life cycle of 50 years or so and are about 18 meters long. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO

  • NUUK, GREENLAND - JULY 27: Boats follow a whale as it swims in the water on July 27, 2013 in Nuuk, Greenland. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • A whale jumps to the surface off the coast of Libreville in Gabon on August 19, 2013. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE BERRY

  • A Southern Right Whale breaches on September 5, 2013 in Hermanus, which has become known as a mecca for whale watching. During the southern hemisphere winter months (June - October) the Southern Right Whales migrate to the coastal waters of South Africa, with in excess of 100 whales known to be in the Hermanus area. Whilst in the area, the whales can be seen with their young as they come to Walker Bay to calve and mate. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

  • A Southern Right Whale breaches on September 5, 2013 in Hermanus, which has become known as a mecca for whale watching. During the southern hemisphere winter months (June - October) the Southern Right Whales migrate to the coastal waters of South Africa, with in excess of 100 whales known to be in the Hermanus area. Whilst in the area, the whales can be seen with their young as they come to Walker Bay to calve and mate. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

  • A humpback whale tail breaches off Sydney Heads at the beginning of whale watching season during a Manly Whale Watching tour on June 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

  • A humpback whale emerges from the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 22, 2011. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A humpback whale is seen breaching outside of Sydney Heads at the beginning of whale watching season during a Manly Whale Watching tour on June 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.

  • In this photo taken July 21, 2011, a baby gray whale is seen with its mother in the Klamath River in Klamath, Calif.

  • An 8.5 metre-long juvenile humpback whale remains stranded on Anaconda beach in La Paloma, department of Rocha, in southeastern Uruguay, on January 27, 2011. AFP

  • A humpback whale is seen breaching outside of Sydney Heads at the beginning of whale watching season during a Manly Whale Watching tour on June 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

  • The tail of a humpback whale emerges from the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 22, 2011. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A franco-austral whale surfaces off the coast of Antoniopolis, in the Uruguayan department of Rocha, 220 km east of Montevideo, on September 22, 2012 during the migration to the south. AFP PHOTO/Pablo PORCIUNCULA

  • A franco-austral whale surfaces off the coast of Antoniopolis, in the Uruguayan department of Rocha, 220 km east of Montevideo, on September 22, 2012 during the migration to the south. AFP PHOTO/Pablo PORCIUNCULA

  • A Franco-austral whale surfaces off the coast of Arachania, Rocha, 225 km east of Montevideo, Uruguay, on September 21, 2012 during the migration to the south. AFP PHOTO/Pablo PORCIUNCULA

  • Watch As Whale Jumps Out Of Water And Bumps Canoe

    A couple canoeing in Maui film the moment when a breaching whale his their canoe while paddling out in the ocean.