|The blue whale skeleton is 26 metres long!|
The centrepiece of the museum is a fully intact female blue whale skeleton suspended in the atrium. It died and washed up in Tignish, Prince Edward Island in 1987. The skeleton was then buried in the hopes that it would decay naturally, and was exhumed in 2008. One can only imagine what it must have stank like, what with 150 ton of whale blubber and oil decomposing into the surrounding soil. New fact that I did not know was that the whale bones are quite porous and full of oil to help with buoyancy. Therefore, there remained a whole mess of degreasing with the skeleton once exhumed.
The entire skeleton was then transported in a refrigerated container to Victoria, where it was further rebuilt and then finally placed here in UBC. The skeleton was available for viewing at special dates last July when the boys and I were here visiting, and MaMa took them to see it then. Today was International Biodiversity Day, so there were special events and exhibits, including a guest talk by my former prof Dr. Al Lewis. The boys did plant pressings, and there was a scavenger hunt answering questions from exhibits throughout the museum.
|The prodigal son returns after 21 years! Here I am at the entranceway to the Biological Sciences building, where I did my B.Sc. Honours with Dr. Paul J. Harrison.|
|The family at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia.|
|The last thing a krill sees before it gets sucked into massive plates of baleen and becomes lunch!|
|The view from below the whale. Note the pathways for blood vessels through the skull, which is just a beautiful work of art in its own right.|
|I couldn't get enough of this whale skeleton.|
|The largest pinecone in the world! It's literally the size and weight of a pineapple! Be sure to wear your hardhats when walking in the forests if these are overhead!|