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Giant Whale Skull Goes On Display

Fin whale skull © Julie Hatcher

8:40am 22nd July 2014
(Updated 8:42am 22nd July 2014)

The skull of the first ever fin whale to be recorded dead or alive in Dorset has been recovered.

The giant skull belongs to a young fin whale that was washed up at the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve in October 2012.

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) recovered the skull to help raise awareness about endangered fin whales.

It’s now on display at the Fine Foundation Marine Centre, Kimmeridge.

DWT Marine Awareness Officer Julie Hatcher who helped recover the fin whale told Wessex FM;

''Even though our skull is that of a juvenile, its body was still nearly 14 metres in length which helps put into perspective just how big these animals are.

''The exhibition is a really unique way of learning more about fin whales and what more we can do to protect them.''

Julie says there was a time when marine giants were much more common in Dorset.

''We believe that we could get back more of these big marine animals by protecting their important feeding and nursery grounds through a national network of Marine Conservation Zones.''


Fin Whale


Known as the 'greyhounds of the sea', fin whales can swim up to 30mph in short bursts when alarmed, or they will swim at an average speed of 18mph during migration, when they cover around 90 miles per day.  They are the second largest animal on the planet after the blue whale, and can measure up to 27 metres long and weigh up to 85 tonnes. Like many marine mammals, fin whales are at risk from 'whaling', ship-strike and entanglement in fishing gear. With their population dropping so low they are now listed as an endangered species.

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