Balaenoptera musculus

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TSwhale1.JPG

Balaenoptera musculus — Blue Whale, U.C. Santa Cruz

14 Comments

Did you know that’s also the name for a “blazingly fast” toy boat?

That is one BFW.

For another pic of that same whale, plus some friends, see http://svpow.wordpress.com/2008/06/[…]mike-and-me/ at the most excellent Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week or SV-POW!

Click on the pic for a ginormous image.

Clearly Sandefur meant to call Sarah Palin a whale. He should be ashamed of himself.

This marvelous blue whale skeleton is at the Seymour Center of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Note the person next to the skeleton (my girlfriend Erin) for scale.

Who designed this beast without hind legs?

ofro said: Who designed this beast without hind legs?

And if you dug it up as a fossil, how would you know that it had big tail flippers? Or how would you know that it didn’t have (for instance) an elephant-like trunk?

Paul Burnett said:

ofro said: Who designed this beast without hind legs?

And if you dug it up as a fossil, how would you know that it had big tail flippers? Or how would you know that it didn’t have (for instance) an elephant-like trunk?

Well, you would see a big powerfully built tail, with lots of attachments for strong muscles, so I think you’d be able to infer a set of flippers. At the other end, you’d see a set of nasal gear at the top of the skull, with no muscle attachments for an elephant-like trunk, implying lack of same.

I like the idea of a whale with a snorkel, though…

Paul Burnett said:

ofro said: Who designed this beast without hind legs?

And if you dug it up as a fossil, how would you know that it had big tail flippers? Or how would you know that it didn’t have (for instance) an elephant-like trunk?

Even from the photo you can see that the tail is sturdy and ends abruptly, suggesting something massive was attached. I am not an anatomist, but I imagine the joints between the tail vertebrae would permit up and down movement but not much from side to side. There may be other possibilities, but the only one I can think of that would result in this type of structure (presuming it is not flexible enough to behave like a giant springtail) would be large tail flukes.

I see at least 7,631 differences between that skeleton and a grizzly bear.

:|

Even if you put lipstick on it…it’s still a whale!

…and I’ll bet even that whale knows that our founding fathers were long dead before the Pledge of Allegiance was written.

(Sorry…my attitude is showing.)

wamba said:

Clearly Sandefur meant to call Sarah Palin a whale. He should be ashamed of himself.

Thanks for my first giggle of the day! :-)

It looks a little dehydrated to me.

My comment has no scientific worth whatsoever.

What an amazingly beautiful skeleton!!!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on September 17, 2008 12:00 PM.

Vatican evolution congress to exclude creationism, intelligent design was the previous entry in this blog.

Balaenoptera musculus: Vestigial Limbs is the next entry in this blog.

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