Saturday, August 14, 2010

Blue Whale Skeleton

My favourite thing at the Museum of Nature was the skeleton of the blue whale. This young female was probably hit by a ship and killed, as five or six vertebrae were missing when her body was washed ashore.

In the first photo, you can see the hinge of her upper and lower jaws, part of her spine, and one flipper.

Here is the other flipper, and some people to give you an idea of the size of the skeleton.

These are the last vestiges of her hind legs. They no longer extend as far as her skin, but they have not completely gone away.

Looking from her belly, toward her head, I think that I could have stood upright in her ribcage. The last photo is a model, showing the relationship between the skeleton and the skin.

The tail flukes of a whale are supported by cartilage, rather than bone, so they were simply represented by a pattern in the floor tiles.

1 comment:

Ann said...

the 4th, showing the belly is incredible.

In Borneo, there were two whales that got swept up the shore. We as kids were amazed at the size when we see the skeleton hanging up in the museum.


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I'm a 50 something female set loose on the world with a camera.