Dissecting a killer whale

At Te Papa, our scientists practice non-lethal whale research but in New Zealand where there are hundreds of strandings a year, opportunities arise to study animals that have died as a result of stranding.  Of course the best way to study whales is in their natural environment, but these kind of dissections can tell scientists a lot about whales.

Today our scientists dissected a baby killer whale that stranded near Haast in 2007.  Anton van Helden, Te Papa’s marine mammals collection manager worked with international killer whale scientists, Dr Steven Raverty of Canada and Dr Ingrid Visser of New Zealand.

Scientists dissecting the killer whale in Te Papa's necropsy room. © Te Papa, 2010

I’ll be posting a couple more blogs about the findings of the dissection today.  Do check out the link on Ingrid’s name to discover more info about killer whale research.

One Response

  1. Renee

    Please create/ draw a diagram of the orca listing all the major organs of the whale. There are none online that I can find!

    Reply

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