lpearce's picture

Fin Whale bones

Observed: 8th December 2007 By: lpearcelpearce’s reputation in Mammalslpearce’s reputation in Mammalslpearce’s reputation in Mammals
Fin Whale bone
Fin Whale bone
Fin Whale bones
Fin Whale bone
Fin Whale bone
Description:

Not sure whether it's appropriate to post this on 1Spot, if not I will remove it.
These bones are from female Fin Whale washed up on a local beach. Samples and most of the bones were recovered and taken away by research groups for analysis. These photo were taken when we visited the site about two week after if was found.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Daisy's picture

Wow, those are huge, it just

Wow, those are huge, it just gives you some idea as to how big these creatures are!

lpearce's picture

Yes it was big, it was I

Yes it was big, it was I think nearly 70 feet long. The bones were also heavy, the tall thin bone I am holding, I could barely lift
As we walked over the rocky beach to find it we were expecting there to be a heavy rotting smell, instead there was a musty sweet smell and the rocks all around were coated with a fine layer of whitish material that we assumed was from the blubber.

If you are interested there are more photo's on our website, look in our 'British Nature' page.

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

Jonathan's picture

Fantastic observation, and

Fantastic observation, and yes, it is totally appropriate. Good to see you on iSpot!

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

lpearce's picture

thanks Jonathan In that case

thanks Jonathan
In that case I have a photo of a loggerhead that washed up, I will post now.
I joined iSpot as soon as I noticed it, after 40 years the OU does not get rid of me that easy!!

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

the naturalist man's picture

Fin whale bones

I am lost for words, this is a fantastic observation. For me, this is one of the reasons for iSpot - the chance to see photographs of sightings like this. I have never seen whale bones outside of a museum.

The lower photos show vertebrae and a rib bone; however, the upper two photos have me puzzled. I'm not big on whale bones but I think it is the rear section of the cranium. Is there anyone out there who can confirm or correct this?

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

lpearce's picture

Graham Thanks for that.

Graham
Thanks for that. initially I was unsure whether to post the photographs I am glad they are of use.
There are 16 more photo's on our own website if you are interest

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

Caroline_Pond's picture

Whale bones

The bones are 3 tail vertebrae, part of the atlas (first) vertebra of the neck (identified by the huge 'wings' that support the back of the skull) and a rib.

the naturalist man's picture

Atlas vertebra

Thanks Caroline, I was at the London Natural History Museum this week and was going to confirm the bones having seen the various whale skeletons they have.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

dw5448's picture

Whale bone - rib or jaw?

I thought the long curved bone was a lower jaw. I would have expected a more of a raised process near your knee (based on the diagram in Wilson and Berrow's "A guide to the identification of the Whales and Dolphins of Ireland"), but otherwise the shape and size seem right and you can see how it would articulate with the other jaw to give the narrow wishbone shape of the closed mouth. I have done demonstrations using a minke jaw, and this just seems like a scaled up version.

I also don't see how it could articulate with the spine to give the cigar shaped outline of a finback.

Just by way of comment, I am always surprised by the weight of the bones - you can see the importance of generating buoyancy from water displacement!

Dave

the naturalist man's picture

rib/jaw

Dave, you are right, on closer inspection the bottom picture is of the right hand side of the jaw. In addition to your comments the curvature is wrong; you would expect the bone to have a more symetrical and acute curve if it were a rib. I didn't notice this, thanks.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

mark's picture

Wow

Wow. Humans look tiny in front of his bones.
--
Mark
Web: sad songs about whales