What is that beak-like structure up front? Is it just me or does that vaguely resemble a tuning fork? Interesting picture and a good example of how bone structure provides information that is not immediately apparent to the untrained eye.
very nice foto. i should fotos on blog too, because it looks more beautiful.
Art, that beak like structure you mention are the premaxillae; they extend slightly further than the maxillae in most cetaceans (and mammals).
"Art, that beak like structure you mention are the premaxillae; they extend slightly further than the maxillae in most cetaceans (and mammals)"
Looks to be a different material. Is it bone similar to the rest of the skeleton?
Art-- Yes, it's bone. I don't recall it as contrasting in color with other bones in other Blue Whale skeletons I have seen: I suspect the appearance here is either discoloration or a trick of the lighting.
Excellent photo! I think this may have been constructed of a number of different skeletons? That may account for the different color contrasts? I think I prefer to look at ones that still have their skin on, lol.