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Whale Bones - 7 - Gåshamna, Hornsund, Svalbard

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The rostrums of bowhead whales detached from the rest of the skulls. The long pieces should be attached to the front of the skull on the opposite side to the two knobbly pieces seen sticking up on the two partial skulls in this picture. The rostrums with their attached baleen (whalebone) were probably cut off to assist with processing.

The lush growth of mosses around the bones is the result of nutrient enrichment from the bones, still evident after more than 350 years, even with the slow growth of arctic plants this must represent the continual recycling many times over of minerals in a small area.



76° 56.7' N, 15° 49.9' E

Picture copyright Paul Ward

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