Stumpy the Right Whale is Being Installed in the NC Museum of Science

Written by Keith_Rittmaster. Posted in Bonehenge; Cetacean rearticulation, Cetacean Studies, Education, Uncategorized

Keith Rittmaster, the leader of Cape Lookout Studies Program,was in Raleigh, NC last week working with Dan DenDanto and his Whales and Nails team installing a reassembled  52 foot right right whale in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Good practice for the 34 foot sperm whale  that Keith  will soon install in the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC.
Un-posed above and posed below. Above, Keith is in the red t-shirt and below in the blue hard hat with the Whales and Nails team.
For more information. about the whale reassembly process in Maine.
And here for more on the installation work at the Museum of Science.
This will be an amazing educational display. Stumpy, and her calves, were right whales well known to researchers. She had migrated up and down the Atlantic Coast for years.She was found floating dead near the NC-VA border after being hit by a large ship. At the time of her death she was almost ready to deliver a male fetus. The fetus died. His skeleton will be displayed where she was carrying him at the time of their death. Her jaw was broken from the ship strike. Pieces of her jaw bone were used to research the damage from a ship strike at different ship speeds. This is valuable information that will help establish the speed that ships can safely travel in waters where these whales live and travel.

Beaufort NC Dolphins – Fabulous Photographs Showing Dorsal Fins, Xenobalanus and Action

Written by Keith_Rittmaster. Posted in bottlenose dolphin photo ID, Uncategorized

A fabulous collection of Keith Rittmaster’s photographs of our local Beaufort, NC dolphins. Notice the  differences in dorsal fins (the fin on the back). That is how we ID them and keep records of individual dolphins sometimes going back over 20 years. Notice in the upper right photo something hanging off the  top of the dorsal fin – like a decorative fringe or tassel. That is actually a barnacle called Xenobalanus that only seems to attach itself to whales and dolphins. We believe we will learn more about dolphin travels and activities once we know more about  Xenobalanus.          More information about this hitchhiker barnacle