1 June 2022
Nigel Larkin, our natural history conservation specialist, has sent us an update on the ongoing whale skeleton conservation project.
The skeletons were thoroughly photographed to record the association of all the bones and how they articulate, and all the bones were labelled with individual numbers.
Then the skeletons were completely taken apart to allow improvement on their armature and deep cleaning of all bones.
The bones are being cleaned under magnification using a specialist compressed air unit. Old holes from previous mounts that are no longer needed were filled in with Japanese tissue paper and neutral pH conservation adhesive, a process that can be reversed in the future.
The same method technique was employed to repair gaps between loose pieces of broken bone for example within the narwhal skull which had several loose sections making it vulnerable to damage. It is now much more robust.
Any old breaks that require repair were adhered together with reversible adhesive. The repaired bones are remounted securely and in more realistic positions.