Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Charles W. Morgan pt. 10

There are two types of whales hunted for blubber: the right whale and the sperm whale. The sperm whale is more agressive, faster, a deeper diver, and lived in less hospitable waters. And yet, ships went after them as much as the less dangerous right whale. A big reason is that large dark space above and in front of the skull of the pictured skeleton. That area is a solid battering ram composed entirely of compacted blubber, called "the trunk." The trunk alone got you a lot closer to filling your hold with oil, and heading home.

This skeleton was drawn from "life" in the Natural History Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden. I'm still recovering from my computer going ker-flooey, but as soon as I have my scanner hooked up again, I'll post some whale-related sketches from that trip.

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