The blue whale
Whales in the Museum
This is the tympanic bone of a blue whale. It has been photographed from two different angles and is about the size of a human fist.
The tympanic bone is unique to whales. It houses the bones of their inner ear. Unlike many bones in a whale's skeleton, the tympanic bone is very dense. You can sometimes find these bones washed up on the beach where they can be mistaken for worn flints.