Basking shark and fin whale


This video is called Inside Nature’s Giants: The Fin Whale (Channel 4).

First, at today’s marine biology day, Arjan Gittenberger brought us to a fence near the museum buildings.

After a gate was opened, behind that fence we found the big skull of a fin whale, beached last year in The Netherlands.

First, it had beached in France. Then, the currents had carried the dead whale further north.

When a dead whale beaches, Gittenberger said, it takes a long time before its meat etc. is stripped off, and even then the bones still stink for quite some time.

Sometimes, more than just the skeleton is conserved, eg, in order to find out what the whales eat.

Behind the whale skull was an 8 meter long tank, filled with formalin.

It was to conserve other marine animals: big ones, though not as big as the whale.

The tank included a basking shark.

Three meters long, so a young shark, as adults grow much bigger.

Maybe it had beached after a collision with a ship.

There was also a European Atlantic sturgeon.

Maybe, an escapee from a hatchery which went bankrupt, after which the fish were released?

Then, a leatherback turtle.

A sunfish; and a conger eel.

One big fish in this tank was not from the sea, but from fresh water in the eastern Netherlands: a wels catfish.

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7 thoughts on “Basking shark and fin whale

  1. Hi Casey, as the blog entry says, the fin whale first beached, dead, in France. Then, the currents carried the dead whale further north, to the Netherlands. The skeleton of the whale is now in Naturalis museum in the Netherlands.

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