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The blue whale

Blue whale ear bones

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.

Return to the blue whale page and learn more about the other images.