Lungs and heart of a Pygmy whale

Lungs and heart of a Pygmy whale

Above is a picture of the Pygmy right whale lung, it’s about 45cm long when stretched out like it is below. The lungs sit under the backbone of the whale and isn’t divided into lobes like human lungs are.

The scientists told me that they think it’s smaller than usual in a whale of this size.

The heart is in perfect shape – it actually looked like a Valentine’s heart especially when it was lifted out – see below.


  1. I like the pictures ,I had a question is there such a thing as a whale shark

    1. Kia ora Denias,

      I’m really glad you like the pictures. There is such a thing as a whale shark – it’s the biggest fish in the world! That means it’s not a type of whale. We see them sometimes in New Zealand waters, but not very often.

      You can find out more on Te Ara:

  2. kadiri naman yan pala yung nga heart yukkkkk

  3. its very good pictures andvery useful to teachers

  4. my heart beats faster by seeing the pair

  5. Now that I’ve read the other comments I would like to appoligise for my rude comment. I’m a animal rights activist and was just misinformed and misunderstood.

  6. Euck! Why are they pulling apart this whale exactly? I sure hope to hell that it died by a natural cause.

  7. That heart is sick! It’s a bit graphic but it is an amazing picture! I love the body.

  8. wow its really the heart is important to our body the important to our body is

    -small intestine
    -large intestine
    and ofcourse is mouth


  10. they r such cheap organs.
    keep on killin.
    its mammaing.

  11. but at least people are taking the opportunity to learn about their body’s and get real life photos instead of toys.and atleast they dont kill the whale they use it otward somthing opsitive

  12. this is nasty who wants to see crazy photos of our guts that creepy they need to come up with something a little better than blood and guts.

  13. wow!!!! very interesting, bet these AMAZING shots well come in handy on my bff’s science project!!! thanx!!! 😀

  14. i know that the heart is one of the most sensitive part pf the body..hmmf.i care

  15. the inside of a heart is relly nasty

  16. its really good to see that

  17. @ellie – we didn’t kill the whale, it was had stranded and died on the coast of New Zealand. The museum carries out a programme of non-lethal whale research (ie. observation of whales in their native habitat and dissection of dead, stranded whales). Have a look at our Whales exhibition mini-site to find out more about whales research in NZ…

  18. heyaa thios is unruley to animals how would you like a member of your family have this done to you it’s in- humane all of you sound really fascinated by this do you want to be ripped apart or summut??? im only 11 but i sure know wat im talking about because i am the worlds youngest vet!!!! I HATE ANY SUCKER THAT KILLS ANIMALS OR TEST ANIMALS FOR RESEACH INTO OUR BODIES ITS CRUEL AND DOWN RIGHT CRAZY!!!!!!

  19. am facut galbaneala cand am vazut poza nu pot sa cred ca pu asa imigini pe net cn lea pus rusinica dar ma bucur ca mia m vazut cum ii o inima pe din naontru siisa va iubiti parteneri ok sa sarbatoriti cu palcere ziua de 14 februarie ziua en namoratilor

  20. the one in center is awesome picture that shows
    so clearly the Blood (vessels???) dont know the english word (or maybe i do)

  21. wow thats amazing how big the heart is
    i wish to learn more! XD

  22. very interesting. thanks for everything. you have made my life. very interesting.

  23. this is what i call body art, the pics are amazin and i love the site of explicit nature. i am realy into biology i love exploring the body and observing everything under the skin.thank you guys good job.

  24. its scary but very interessting… geeee thanks

  25. Hi Masitha,
    Can you write in English?
    Thanks a lot 🙂
    Florence, IT at Te Papa

  26. good…apakah ini gambar hati setiap manusia ????!!!

  27. hi it’s my first time that i see this’s really good.thanks

  28. @NO NAMER – this pygmy right whale was found stranded on a beach in New Zealand and brought(dead)to Te Papa.The museum carries out a programme of non-lethal whale research (ie. observation of whales in their native habitat and dissection of dead, stranded whales). Believe me, the photos are real, I wrote the post and took the images.
    Jane Keig, Communications Manager, Te Papa

  29. This looks cool.
    but i dont think i beileve in this picture.
    Why would scientists want to hurt a cute whale????
    They should be ashamed of themselves

  30. WaW as u see on first pic is lungs and the 2 pic is heart ^^xD

  31. Wow…..this is soo cool i wish i was the one holding the heart it is so amazing!!!!!!!!!

  32. çünkü bu site, türk sitesi değil. Ayrıca ingilizce evrensel dil olarak kabul ediliyor.

    1. Hi,
      This is an English speaking website. If you have questions or comments, please write them in English so that we can understand them, and hopefully we’ll also be able to answer them 🙂
      Florence, IT at Te Papa

  33. ya neden yorumları ingilize yazıyorsunuz

  34. şuna bakın kalp ameliyatı yapıyorlar sanırım

  35. WOW this is a really wierd and awkward site who cares about whales…..

  36. Omgg
    dhtt shOtt wass pretty qwedd !
    and& iikyy
    Omgg; dht shuld hvee hurtt :[
    Didd iht HURt ?

  37. hahahahahahaha gutted !! get it gutted

  38. Hi Aliette

    The scientists were performing a necropsy on this young pygmy right whale that stranded and died in New Zealand.

  39. oh oww! that so hurts?
    thanks your HElp!
    what happen?

  40. Hi Kristian
    It was a pygmy right whale’s heart.

    Jane Keig

  41. Hmmm… nice heart =) Sad it was in a human body =(

  42. Thanks Amy
    It was pretty amazing to have the scientists be so patient with me as I took photos and asked questions!

  43. Thanks maria :o)

    Are you studying whales?

  44. Thanks Jives, it’s a real pleasure being able to share the photos!

  45. Wow!
    Those are some amazing shots. These internal organs are much easier to recognize than the squids were last week.

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