Maine Company to Preserve Skeleton of Whale Beached on Cape Cod - NECN
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Maine Company to Preserve Skeleton of Whale Beached on Cape Cod

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    Maine Company Preserving Skeleton of Whales

    Whales and Nails in Maine is working to preserve the remains of Vector, a whale found dead on Cape Cod.

    (Published Monday, May 13, 2019)

    Last week, many New Englanders were sad to hear about the death of Vector the whale.

    The female humpback, tracked by scientists for more than 30 years, was found lifeless in Cape Cod Bay.

    The whale was beached in Sandwich, Massachusetts, as scientists performed a necropsy.

    Afterward, Vector's remains were brought in three truckloads to a wooded plot of land in Tremont, Maine, near Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island.

    Death of Humpback Whale Under Investigation

    [NECN] Death of Humpback Whale Under Investigation

    Scientists are working to determine what killed a humpback whale found on a Cape Cod beach.

    (Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019)

    That's where Dan denDanto, a marine scientist at the College of the Atlantic, runs a business called "Whales and Nails."

    Since the 1990s, denDanto has prepared whale skeletons for articulation or anatomical presentation the way you'd see a whale skeleton in a museum.

    When he heard Vector had passed away, denDanto rushed to Cape Cod to ask to recover her skeleton.

    He says Vector's age and her story make her an ideal candidate for preservation.

    Monday, he began the monthslong process of cleaning her bones of all tissue so they can be handled indoors and displayed.

    He and a team of two other people used a small excavator to pull large pieces of the whale carcass to a clear area of soil.

    Dead Whale on Cape Cod Beach Draws Crowd

    [NECN] Dead Whale on Cape Cod Beach Draws Crowd

    Researchers are preparing to figure out what went wrong with a whale that washed ashore on a Cape Cod beach.

    (Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019)

    They will be covered in mulch and left outdoors for half a year.

    "It'll take six months to do the decomposition using mostly maggots and other invertebrates that eat flesh," he said.

    It's a grisly, smelly process.

    Although Vector's necropsy reduced her remains by half, the pieces still weigh about 20,000 pounds.

    As nature takes its course, denDanto expects an additional 15,000 pounds to decompose.

    Courtney Vashro was one of denDantos co-workers hoping not to get "snarged" Monday, a term that describes getting blasted by whale remains or moisture from a living whale's blowhole.

    Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore on Cape Cod

    [NECN] Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore on Cape Cod

    A 40-ton humpback whale washed onto the beach in Sandwich.

    (Published Tuesday, May 7, 2019)

    She says the many hours of labor to process the skeleton and eight months of work articulating it are all worth it once a whale has been placed on display.

    "When we you see people walk in for the first time, when you hang them, it is a pretty special moment," she explained.

    For denDanto, the opportunity to add Vector to the list of 18 or so whales he's handled was one he could not pass up.

    He wants the whale's story to be remembered so she continues to foster learning for decades to come.

    "This whale was not just a dead whale," said denDanto. "This was a known individual, revered and loved by scientists, conservationists and the public alike. It's more than just the display of a humpback whale, but a memorial to this individual and what we've learned about her and the opportunity have her continue inform educate and inspire future generations."

    His eventual hope is that Vector's skeleton will be put on display in the Maine State Museum in Augusta, paired with the skeleton of a calf humpback he recovered years ago.

    Deceased Whale Discovered on Sandwich, Mass. Shores

    [NECN] Deceased Whale Discovered on Sandwich, Mass. Shores

    WARNING: The contents in this video may be disturbing to some viewers. View discretion is advised.

    <br><br>A deceased whale's body was found off the shore of Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is unclear how the marine animal died and how it ended up on the shore.

    (Published Tuesday, May 7, 2019)

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