Dead Animals at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

I’m sure you will agree that all the best museums have large collections of dead animals, although the are certainly museums who do not do dead animals right. The Boston Museum of Science, for example, does not know how to display their taxidermied collection to best effect- they are all threadbare and not at all hilarious. The New Bedford Whaling Museum, on the other hand, combines the pathetic horror of whaling with the inherent hilarity of taxadermy to wonderful effect.

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The best example of pathos in a museum that makes you want to scream with horror- the skeleton of a dead fetus has been hung embraced by the skeleton of its’ dead mother.
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This moose skin seems pretty hilarious, but was part of a bounty of skins and beads and the like that was traded for the land where the city of Dartmouth now resides. “A moose! My land for a moose!” I imagine the natives later cried.
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“Death to the living- long live the killers. Success to sailor’s wives and greasy luck to whalers.”
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I forgot to note down what this was. A seal of some sort is my best guess. In death it appears to be contemplating the tragedy of life.
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It seems as if this sperm whale is missing the top of its’ jaw, but, while the sperm whale does have the largest brain of any animal, ever, it wasn’t quite that big. Instead, an enormous cavity filled with oil called spermaceti, which allowed it to use echolocation to navigate. Also, allowed it to be killed in vast numbers for its oil. The animal with the largest brain ever.
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Argh! I am a vicious seal! Argh!

 

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