Friday, 28 October 2011

Beaty Biodiversity Museum

A gem ... good family trip on a rainy day!
At the University of British Columbia in the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory Building.
We had heard about a Blue Whale skeleton ... and it didn't disappoint!
The whale had washed ashore in 1987 at Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada.  20 years later, Andrew Trites led a team to bring the skeleton to the west.
We entered the building for a 'end view'. 
The skeleton is 25 metres long ... 2 city buses, end to end.
Weight: up to 180 tons ... the same as 33 full grown elephants.
The enormous tail flukes are dense connective tissue and not preserved as part of the skeleton.
Neck bones.
Side view: upper skull and mouth with the two jaw bones below.
The lower jawbones are the largest single bones of any living animal ... 8 metres long and 550 kilograms.
view from below: Blue whales have baleen to strain the water for  small seafoods, they do not have teeth.
The rib cage holds a car size heart.
The flippers show hand-like bones.
Blue Whale: Balaenoptera musculus, North Atlantic.
Two small bones remain from the whale's land dwelling ancestors.

This was one display, there is a theatre and more displays downstairs ... for another day!

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