Ostend, Between Belgium And England., West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Europe, North Atlantic Ocean
3 Nov 1827
Animalia Animalia Animalia Animalia Chordata Chordata Chordata Chordata Mammalia Mammalia Mammalia Mammalia Cetacea Cetacea Cetacea Cetacea Balaenopteridae Balaenopteridae Balaenopteridae Balaenopteridae
Balaenoptera musculus musculus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Balaenoptera musculus rorqual
Balaenoptera rorqual Dewhurst, 1832
Whale Field Number 1 : No Number
Other Number : ZINN2
Found floating at sea between Belgium and England. towed into Ostend. 95 french feet (= 101 british feet) long. Flower (1865) says it was 87 feet long (may have been the length of the skeleton). He also says (1865:400) that the skeleton was shipped to the United States but does not know the location. Tomilin (1967:79) states that this specimen was exhibited in Paris, London and other European capitols, United States, Crimea and then St. Petersburg where it now resides. Breda (1828) gives data on this specimen.
Dewhurst (1832 - Magazine of Natural History) gives an account of the stranding and specimen and names it Balaenoptera rorqual.
Dewhurst (1834:107-129, plate 5) gives an account of this specimen and other stranded whales that have been exhibited and a plate of the intact specimen when it stranded.
Dewhurst (1834:129) has the following: :The B. Rorqual, the subject of the preceding remarks, was originally the property of the King of Holland, it having been taken during the period he held the sovereignty of Belgium. However, in consequence of the crown of that kingdom I having been placed on the head of his Majesty Leopold I. by the Belgic nation, the proprietors, fearing that if they took the skeleton back to the continent it would be claimed by both monarchs, particularly as the King of Holland intended very properly o present it on its return to the University of Leyden* - to avoid this, I understand the proprietors have embarked with this stupendous skeleton for the United States, where they intend to exhibit it. However, in point of equity, I consider it to be the property of the Dutch monarch, he having only disposed of it conditionally to Mr. Kessels, who was to return it to him at the expiration of six years, which period terminates in the course of the present year. * His Dutch Majesty should have recollected the old proverb, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,"- and at once have presented this magnificent skeleton to the Uniyersity."
The mounted skeleton of this specimen is now in the Zoological Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Charles Potter visited this in October 27, 2011 and photographed the mounted skeleton on exhibit. The skull was not a typical blue whale skull and looked more like a fin whale. The baleen associated woith the skull looks black. Mead has identified this specimen tentatively as a fin whale, but it may be a hybrid between a fin and a blue.
Perrin (1988 ms) gives the following data: Balaenoptera musculus - un-numbered specimen - Oostende, Belgium - 1856, Balabin - complete mounted skeleton, on exhibit - no biological data. [ZINN0002]
St. Petersburg Museum label reads: One of the largest cetacean skeletons exhibited in the museums over the world - the length of this animal is 27 meters. The dead whale was found on the sandy beach near the city Ostende (Belgium) in 1827. For more then 20 years this skeleton was exhibited around France, England and USA, and in 1856 was bought by a state councilor V. Balabin for the Zoological Museum Imperial Academy of Science. Because of the absence of the appropriate building the skeleton was given to the Zoological Garden of Gerbgardtov in 1857 where was shown for 20 years under a specially build roof. It was exhibited back in the Zoological museum after it moved into a new building in 1900.
Gray, J. E. (1866). Catalogue of seals and whales in the British Museum. London, British Museum. p. 175-178 - Sibbaldius borealis
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetacea Balaenopteridae
Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Whale Field Number 1 : No Number
Skeleton on display in the MNHN, Paris; donated by Svend Foyn to Pouchet in 1882. Length of skeleton = 22.73 m; weigh of skeleton = 2,939 kg; length of skull = 595 cm; weight of skull = 1,190 kg; weight of mandibles = 450 kg.
Redman, N. (2014). Whales' Bones of France, Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Teddington, England, Redman Publishing. p. 39