Blue Whale Skeleton - Santa Cruz, California
Posted by: DougK
N 36° 56.955 W 122° 03.920
10S E 583219 N 4089650
Quick Description: This 87 foot Blue Whale skeleton is located at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 12:02:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM6V8D
This whale once swam along the Pacific coast. Blue whales are regular visitors to Monterey Bay, sometimes coming thousands of miles just for the food. These grand animals eat tiny shrimplike creatures called krill. Krill form dense swarms here in spring and summer.
On September 6, 1979, after a lifetime of long-distance swimming and krill-hunting, this 87 foot female blue washed ashore at Pescadero, about 30 miles north of here. Scientists at the Long Marine Lab decided to salvage the skeleton. They carved off the flesh and dismantled the skeleton. A helicopter lifted the heavy skull onto the back of a truck for transport to Santa Cruz. Smaller bones were hand carried up the bluff.
Back at LML, staff unloaded the bones of the blue and reassembled it as you see it today. Some of the whales 176 bones are missing, either lost to the waves or taken by souvenir hunters. Those missing bones have been replaced by cast replicas.
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is operated by the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).