Articulation Begins!

September 16, 2013 Posted by: K.VandenBerg

For the past several weeks, Dan DenDanto and the Whale & Nails Team have been busy  drilling, chiseling, and threading clean bones!  They are preparing Whale 68's skeleton for articulation - artistically putting the bones back together for display.  

Using variety of tools, some of which Dan specially made, the team began the arduous task of cutting through the core of each vertebrae. Some are over 12" deep which required alternating between drilling and chiseling. Dan started the process (see picture) by using a long pilot drill bit to center a drill hole through the centrum of the bone. He says, "This is important to ensure the hole will be along the axis of the spine so that there is good, "square" alignment between the vertebrae when they are threaded on to the pipe."  

The complete articulation of Whale 68 will take place in sections.  This section (see photo) shows  five vertebrae threaded on to an 8' metal pipe to "ensure that alignment is true and each vertebrae lines up nicely with the ones before and after." It took Dan and his crew about a week to drill and chisel all the holes though the vertebrae. Stay tuned for more updates as we follow this exciting project.  

Articulation Photo Collage


Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

Contact Us