Blue Whale Heart Now at the ROM

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) exhibition Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story, now features the blue whale heart, which arrived recently via Guben, Brandenburg, Germany, where it underwent plastination by colleagues at Geuben Plastinate GmbH. It has now been installed in the exhibition by experts from Research Casting International.

The blue whale heart is the largest of any animal on earth, and the ROM’s specimen is the first and only real preserved blue whale heart in the world. It measures four feet wide, three-and-a-half feet tall and three feet thick. This blue whale heart pumps 150 litres of blood per beat, and this specimen, without any blood, weighs in at 400 pounds.

On display until September 4, 2017, Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story explores the story of the nine blue whales from the endangered North Atlantic population that became entrapped in thick ice and died in March 2014. Two of these whales later washed ashore at Trout River and Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. In cooperation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Research Casting International, the ROM travelled to the site to recover the skeletons, along with DNA samples and other important biological information. The results of that work form the centrepiece of this astonishing exhibition — a massive, fully articulated blue whale skeleton, at 80 feet, one of the largest, most complete displays of its kind in the world.

Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story is part of the ROM’s exhibition program to commemorate Canada and Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

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