This is the heart of a blue whale. It came from an unfortunate event in 2014 where nine blue whales were discovered dead, trapped in the sea ice off the coast of Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland. Months later, the melting ice carried the whales to the shores where the ROM worked quickly to bring two skeletons, one heart, and tissue samples back for research. As endangered species, the news of these deceased whales came as a blow to conservation efforts. But the ROM is trying to make some good come from a heartbreaking situation. The more we learn about this specimen, the better our chances for protecting blue whales as a species.
This is the first time a blue whale heart has ever been preserved, and so in June 2015 I was assigned to photograph the amazing scientists working to cure it for plastination. My photographs were published by CBC News and alongside my words on the ROM's blog. To view the articles click the images below. Happy reading!