Whale of a move

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Bonehenge; Cetacean rearticulation


Humpback whale vertebra, waiting to be loaded. Photos by T. Sturgell

They say that, when moving, you start with the largest items first. We think a 37′ Humpback Whale qualifies.

The Cape Lookout Studies Program is moving out of our Gallants channel offices and will hopefully have a temporary office set up soon. There’s a whole lot of stuff to move and Keith decided that we should start with the most valuable object – “Pitfall”.

Pitfall is the name of the 37′ humpback whale that beached in Duxbury, MA back in 2001. The three year old humpback was killed by a ship strike. The skeleton has been waiting patiently in our office for her turn to be rearticulated.

But it was time to move, so in a reverse of the events from October 2010, we moved the whale bones out, loaded them up, and placed them in temporary storage on Thursday, August 23.

Additional information:

Click here for another post from Pitfall’s arrival at CLSP. Click here for The Whale Center of New England’s story about Pitfall and ship strikes. [PDF] Click here to download a pdf of an article from The Duxbury Clipper, October 10, 2001 edition, about Pitfall’s stranding.

Pitfall’s moving team included:

  • Vicky Thayer
  • Josh Summers
  • Keith Rittmaster
  • Nan Bowles
  • Tom Kirmeyer
  • David Brown
  • Paula Dailey
  • Mary Hunnings
  • Todd Sturgell
  • 1 watermelon
3, 2, 1 – spit!

“3, 2, 1 – spit!” The crew breaks for watermelon. Thanks, Nan.

Moving whale bones out of the CLSP offices

Nan, Mary, and Vicky moving bones out of the office.

R. Maxilla (upper jawbone)

R. Maxilla (AKA upper right jawbone) waiting to be loaded.

Left Maxilla

Keith considers the surfing potential of the Left Maxilla.

Humpback whale bones, laid out like a massive plastic 1:1 scale model.

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Tursiops truncatus is the scientific name for the common bottlenose dolphin. Tursiops is also the user name shared by volunteers who contribute to this blog. If you have an idea for a blog post, or think we should comment on an article you've found, click the contact button above and drop us a line!

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