Whales: Beneath the Surface
Whales: Beneath the Surface shows how whales have evolved over 50 million years and adapted to extreme environments. It features 100 specimens from the museum’s collection including skulls and a blue whale flipper. It also looks at the similarities between whales and humans.
In the main Hintze hall the faux dinosaur skeleton Dippy has been replaced with that of a 25.2m (82.7ft) blue whale named ‘Hope’. Blue whales were driven to the brink of extinction before hunting was banned and long-term conservation measures put in place. It is still endangered but the global population is increasing and is estimated at around 20,000 – highlighting how conservation can help save species that are under threat.
Interactive displays allow visitors to understand how whales sense and feed, test their ability to catch prey and even hear humpback whales sing (on a whale jukebox). Exhibits span the range of whale species, from the small harbour porpoise to the colossal blue whale.
As well as looking at the history of the whale, including how they became sociable animals that can communicate over vast distances, the exhibition looks forward, considering the main challenges facing the whale today.