Blue Whale Skeleton
Too many post-holiday days were spent indoors playing with new gadgets, so my boyfriend and I ventured out for a dayhike in the Marin Headlands. The weather was stunning, the drive was short, and the sights were amazing – the oceanside view of the GGB with the city as a backdrop, rather than the otherway around. We followed several trails leading into the hills overlooking Rodeo Beach and found ourselves behind the Marine Biology campus where we discovered an amazing display.
The layout was of an actual blue whale skeleton, from the whale the washed up at Fort Funston back in 1988. The decaying carcass was buried at the beach by scientists, 10 feet under the ground for 10 years, and in 1999 the insect-cleaned bones were brought to Marin and reassembled into this exhibit. The bones resembled bleached coral reef – chalky white and somewhat porously textured. A dried bundle of bleen – the fiberous ‘screen’ through which the whales filter out their krill lunch – was bundled beside the skull, like coconut husk fibers.
(upper left image from Headlands Institute display)