Belated Baleen

by Ann Bartkowski

Awhile ago, Karen, our resident biologist brought in a large chunk of baleen from the mouth of a blue whale that had washed on on a nearby beach. The pieces of this spectacular and spectacularly large animal were sent to all corners of the world for research and education, and the explo was lucky enough to get a piece. Karen tried to being it into a classroom in the museum while it was closed one Monday, but all the staff were so curious she only got this far-

The baleen was smelly, sandy and stupendous!

 

 

 

 

 

The baleen was so tough and rubbery, and was like thick strands of hair (it’s made of keratin!) It grew this beautiful pattern on the inside of the whale’s jaw:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This whale piece is going to be super cool to study and think about as we focus more on water as we get closer to the Piers!

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