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Showing posts from June, 2015

SciPos Montage: Creatures Below

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A couple of weeks ago Jeff Bradley brought a bunch of volunteers from the Burke (including Steph and Cooper!) to Grayland to flens (de-blubber) and clean the bones of a whale that washed up on the beach. We also had help from some cool people from Cascadia and Highline Community College. The whale was a Baird's Beaked Whale, which is a really super duper whale that looks like a big fat dolphin, and is pretty rare, with only 4 strandings ever recorded in Washington! Here are some neat facts about Baird's Beaked Whales: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/beakedwhale_bairds.htm  It was a 38-foot long female and had recently given birth. We collected tissue samples from several organs, and I got to see a whale heart in real life, which is basically the size of a beach ball. Awesome. We buried the bones so they would get cleaned off, and then later we'll go dig them all up and hopefully mount the skeleton in the new Burke!! It was the best day e…