Whale Skeleton Display
The 50’ whale skeleton was donated by boat builder Stephen Goreham who found the carcass in 2006 on an island off of Woods Harbour, NS. After receiving permission from the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, he proceeded to transport it home piece by piece. The huge head, estimated at 2000 lbs, was towed behind his boat and it took several months to bring the rest of the bones back to the mainland. The Gorehams displayed it in their front yard for a number of years before offering it to the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth. After power washing the many pieces and relocating it to the lighthouse grounds, it was a bit of a puzzle to get it back together. The exhibit fits perfectly on our site and attracts a lot of attention from visitors who marvel at the size of the sea creature.
Our whale is a Baleen whale, of which there are 15 different species. This one is most likely a Fin Whale. These whales do not have teeth, instead, they use their baleen plates to filter out food from the water by lunge-feeding. While feeding, the mouth inflates and the jaw expands to a volume that can be bigger than the whale itself. Due to their fused neck vertebrae, they’re unable to turn their head at all.
Baleen whales have two blowholes and a layer of blubber under the skin to keep warm in the cold water. The two flippers on the front, near the head, are continuously in motion. As their tail fluke propels them through the water, the flippers are used for steering. Fin whales can swim very fast, up to 37 kms/hr in short bursts. All baleen whales use sound for communication and are known to "sing", especially during the breeding season.