Snow Secured Just Before Hurricane Sandy Arrives

December 06, 2012 Posted by: K. VandenBerg

Dan and his team arrived home just in time to unload the cargo and secure it safely in his facility before the onset of Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, 'Whales and Nails' weathered the storm and only lost power for a short time. Our thoughts go out to those who suffered personal loss during this natural disaster.

After the weather cleared, Dan was able to take preliminary weights of all the bones. He was able to weigh most of the bones "in house" but had to take the skull and mandibles to a local large truck scale to obtain their weights! What do you think a 45.5 foot humpback whale skull might weigh? Can you believe Snow's skull, including both lower jaw bones, weighed a total of one thousand three hundred and twelve pounds! That's just the skull! One can begin to understand the importance obtaining accurate weights and measurements when charged with designing a building to showcase such a massive whale.

After weighing the bones, Dan began the process of assessing the fragile, broken skull so park staff could get an idea of the extent of damage and potential repairs. Decisions will have to be made concerning the extent of repair and specifics like color, texture, and material. Because Snow's skull was damaged as a result of a cruise ship strike, there were many small and broken fragments. Arranging the pieces was much like putting a puzzle together. As a park visitor, how would you like to see the skull repaired? Should the repair reflect the tragedy or should it be repaired to it's pristine condition?

Snow's skull, including both mandibles weighed 1,312 pounds


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Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826

Phone:

(907) 697-2230

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