A six-meter jaw. Polar explorers told how they study the giant skeleton of a blue whale. PHOTO

A six-meter jaw.  Polar explorers told how they study the giant skeleton of a blue whale.  PHOTO

Ukrainian polar explorers, together with the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, conduct research on the giant skeleton of a blue whale. The skeleton is located on Rasmussen Island near the Akademik Vernadsky Antarctic Station. It is one of the largest blue whale skeletons in the world, according to the National Antarctic Science Center. “Imagine: the body length of the whale from Rasmussen Island, and this is an adult female, is up to 27 m (that’s the height of a 9-story building!!!), and the weight is from 130 tons,” polar explorers say. Only the lower jaw of the whale – an elongated and slightly curved bone – is 5-6 meters long. Scientists were able to reconstruct the exact dimensions of this Antarctic giant by creating a three-dimensional reconstruction of the jaw bone using photogrammetry. The model consists of a set of photos taken from different angles. Close-up photography of the object and general plans from a drone were provided by the biologist of the 27th and 28th UAE and photographer Serhii Glotov. “And here are the results. We present a small three-dimensional diorama containing the lower jaw of a whale and surrounding objects. It was created by Svitozhar Davydenko – a scientist from the Institute of Zoology. As noted by zoologists themselves, the last photo from the set used to create the model is here provided for the scale,” polar explorers say. Next, the scientists will scale the model and virtually “glue” the bone to accurately determine the full length of the whale, as well as its other features. Polar scientists say that the blue whale suffered greatly from whaling in the 20th century, so the population of these mammals is very small. Currently, the number of blue whales is estimated at 10-25 thousand individuals, which is only 3-11% of the number of whales in 1911. “Researching what these whales were like before whaling, based on their remains, is very valuable, because it allows us to “reconstruct” the past of these unique animals and, through it, ensure their reproduction and a better future,” the researchers say. We will remind, earlier at the auction in Zurich, the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus was sold for 6 million dollars. Read also: Seals and some penguins: polar explorers showed the “autumn” inhabitants of the Antarctic. PHOTO

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