Skeletons of the Deep - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Right whale skeleton

Skeletons of the Deep

Skeletons of the Deep

Jacobs Family Gallery and Dr. Roderick H. Turner Gallery
Ongoing Exhibition

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is host to four large whale skeletons, and one very special small skeleton. This page will link you to four other pages, each of which will focus on one particular species.

The skeletons that are on display came from animals that either died accidentally, or by undetermined circumstances. Although New Bedford is famous for its hunting of whales for nearly two centuries, we at the Museum did not hunt the animals on display.

Skeletons are important teaching tools for museums, science centers and aquaria. The sheer size of the skeletons inspires awe and gives a greater appreciation for their mobility. Viewing the skeletal structure allows for lessons in comparative anatomy and can forge a more personal connection with our mammal brethren. The presence of these specimens generates questions for staff and volunteers which then lead to an improved understanding of these animals and their natural history. Researchers, studying the condition of these bones, are able to determine information about the health of the animal just prior to its death.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum would like to acknowledge the major contributions of the Spring 2010 Teen Apprentices to the text and photographs on these pages.

In stormy conditions, the dead whale was then struck by a tanker which unknowingly carried the whale across its bow into Narragansett Bay...

Quasimodo was towed ashore in Westport, MA, stripped and buried in the sand as a way to clean the bones.

Her partially cleaned bones were driven from North Carolina to western Massachusetts in a snowstorm in February 2005...

The body was towed for nine hours by a tugboat to a shipyard in Fairhaven, MA, across the Acushnet River from the Whaling Museum...