1. Visitors can get close to the skeleton of the 10.6m-long adult female Sperm Whale, nicknamed Jubi Lee by museum staff, and see it “eye to eye” – it is displayed in a diving pose with its skull just 1m off the floor.
  2. Items found inside the Whale’s skeleton.

Photos: Ong Wee Jin, Audrey Tan

A Whale of an exhibit
Skeleton of 10.6m-long Sperm Whale, found in S’pore waters, goes on display from today
By Audrey Tan, 15th March 2016;

The latest attraction at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum – the skeleton of a Whale found floating in Singapore waters off Jurong – goes on display from today.

Visitors can get close to the skeleton and see it “eye to eye” – it is displayed in a diving pose with its skull just 1m off the floor.

This is unlike most museum Whale skeletons, which are usually hung horizontally near the ceiling.

“We wanted to give the Whale a natural pose in a limited space,” said museum conservator Kate Pocklington, who was one of five researchers at the museum involved in preserving the skeleton.

The skeleton of the adult female Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) takes pride of place in the mammals section of the museum at the National University of Singapore. The carcass of the 10.6m-long Whale was discovered floating off Jurong Island on July 10 last year – the first time the marine mammal has been spotted in Singapore waters.

Museum scientists say it is likely to have died after being hit by a ship, as its dorsal hindquarters had a large wound. Broken backbones were also found below the injury.

It was nicknamed Jubi Lee by museum staff, as it was found during the nation’s Golden Jubilee year.

“As an older Singaporean, I am overjoyed by the return of a Whale to our natural history museum,” said Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, who was at the official launch of the whale exhibit last night.

The skeleton of a 13m-long Indian Fin Whale (likely a Blue Whale) (Balaenoptera musculus) was shown at the old National Museum from 1907 to 1974 before it was given to Malaysia.

“Jubi Lee is even better than the Whale we gave away because it was found in our waters, because it belongs to a species seldom found in our waters, and because the skeleton is in perfect order,” he added.

The museum’s head, Professor Peter Ng, told The Straits Times it was rare for the Whale skeleton to be preserved and mounted in just eight months. “In most countries, the carcass is buried, allowed to rot, and only after several years is the skeleton excavated… We have expedited the process through very hard work – no mean feat. And it did not come cheap.”

The museum has raised around $1.3 million for scientific and educational efforts related to the Sperm Whale carcass. Half of it went to setting up the exhibit, while the other half will be used for marine biodiversity education and research.

Besides marvelling at the size of Jubi Lee, visitors can learn more about its biology, the threats it faced, and how it was discovered. Plastic cups and bags found in its gut, for instance, will be on display.

Educator Mary Lim, 38, who was at last night’s event, said it could teach children about the value of fossils. Her son, Elijah, seven, said of the plastic found in the whale’s gut: “It is disgusting and sad that the Whale ate them, they look dirty.”

Source: The Straits Times

  1. The skeleton of Jubi the Sperm Whale on display at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
  2. CEO of Temasek Holdings Ho Ching officially unveiled Jubi on Monday.
  3. Jubi was given her name after being discovered during Singapore’s Jubilee year.
  4. The 10.5m female Sperm Whale suffered several broken bones in her spine, as well as a huge gash on her body.
  5. Analysis from the DNA team discovered that Jubi had the same mitochondrial genetic signature common in Sperm Whales found in the North Pacific Ocean.
  6. Protected by a whaling moratorium, sperm whales are now listed as vulnerable to extinction by conservation authorities.

Photos: Ngau Kai Yan

In pictures: Jubilee Whale Exhibit at Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
By Dawn Karen Tan, 14th March 2016;

Remember the female Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) that washed ashore in late July last year? Its skeleton is now on display at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

The Jubilee Whale Exhibit – at the mammals section of the museum – was officially unveiled on Monday evening (Mar 14) by Ms Ho Ching, chief executive of Temasek Holdings.

After deciding to salvage the Whale last year, the museum launched an appeal for funds to preserve its skeleton. Nicknamed “Jubi”, the exhibit will help educate visitors on whale biology and the threats faced by these mammals.

The Whale, which had been discovered off the coast of Jurong Island, had presented authorities with a conundrum: Allow it to sink and float away, or salvage it? The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum chose the latter.

“Surprisingly, everyone came together, doing a lot of abnormal things, and against all the odds… we managed to get the Whale to stay in Singapore waters, bring it all the way to Tuas and get it ready for processing,” said CEO of the museum Mr Peter Ng.

Nine museum staff were deployed to salvage the 10.5-metre specimen. Earning the nickname “Jubi Lee” – as she was found during Singapore’s Jubilee year – the Whale was to become the first Sperm Whale ever recorded in the coastal waters around Peninsular Malaysia.

Analysis from the DNA team discovered that Jubi had the same mitochondrial genetic signature common in Sperm Whales found in the North Pacific Ocean.

Examination of the carcass shed some light on Jubi’s life and her final days.

With her stomach filled with indigestible squid beaks, it was found that she mainly fed on live squid, but there was also another troubling discovery – marine trash.

It was apparent that she had not eaten recently. Her body bore a terrible wound – a huge gash possibly incurred from a boat’s propeller. She also suffered several broken bones in her spine. Scientists deduced the injury had left her unable to hunt. She had likely died just a few days before being discovered.

Protected by a whaling moratorium, Sperm Whales are now listed as vulnerable to extinction by conservation authorities.

This is not the first time the museum has had a large whale. The famous “Singapore Whale” was displayed in the old museum until 1974. After it was given away to another museum, all efforts to retrieve it had failed.

Staff at the museum saw Jubi’s arrival as a gift.

Mr Ng said: “For fate or whatever reason, it has come back into our hands. It shows what crazy people can do in desperate situations. At the end of the day, we can come together to get something important done.

"Is the whale important? Oh yes, it’s important, because it’s a symbol – a symbol that we are doing something right.”

Source: Channel NewsAsia

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/starterkit/servlet/fragment?id=2601454&view=embed

The Jubilee Whale Exhibit was officially unveiled on Monday evening at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

After 249 days, the Singapore Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is finally ready to meet the public. It has been an amazing journey for the museum, and we thank all who have helped.

Do come and see the #SGWhale and discover more about her story, and how we can be better stewards of the marine environment!

See you at the museum!

Source: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Facebook

HAPPENING NOW: The lovely bones of Jubilee the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) have officially gone on display at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Photos: Ngau Kai Yan

Source: Channel NewsAsia Facebook

Visitors can get a closer look at the Singapore Whale at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Photos: Audrey Tan

Get up close to the Singapore Whale at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
By Audrey Tan, 14th March 2016;

Get up close to the Republic’s very own Moby Dick from Tuesday (March 15), when the skeleton of a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) found here goes on display at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

The exhibit, on display at the mammals section, was unveiled on Monday evening by Ms Ho Ching, chief executive of Temasek Holdings, at the official launch of the Jubilee Whale Exhibit.

Unlike most other Whale skeleton exhibits, that are usually hung horizontally near the ceiling, the Singapore Whale will be displayed in a diving pose, with its enormous skull just 1m off the floor.

“We wanted to give the Whale a natural pose in a limited space,” explained museum conservator Kate Pocklington, who was part of the museum’s team of five researchers involved in the preservation of the skeleton.

Other than marvelling at the sheer size of the marine mammal, visitors to the museum, in the National University of Singapore, can also learn more about its biology, the threats faced by these creatures, and the story of its discovery.

The carcass of the 10.6m-long adult female Sperm Whale was found floating off Jurong Island on July 10, 2015 – the first time that the marine mammal has been spotted in Singapore waters.

It was nicknamed Jubi Lee by staff at the museum, as it had been found during the nation’s Golden Jubilee year.

After it was found, researchers from the museum worked for months to preserve the skeleton and collect as much data as possible from the carcass.

The museum’s head, Professor Peter Ng, told The Straits Times that it was rare for the Whale skeleton to be preserved and mounted in just eight months.

“In most countries, the carcass is buried, allowed to rot, and only after several years is the skeleton excavated. Months or years may pass before the skeleton is made ready,” he said.

“We have expedited the process through very hard work – no mean feat. And it did not come cheap.”

The museum has raised about $1.3 million for scientific and educational efforts related to the Sperm Whale carcass.

Half of it went to setting up the exhibit, while the remaining half will be used for marine biodiversity education and research.

The museum intends to use the Whale to highlight the importance of keeping the oceans healthy.

Sperm Whales feed mainly on squid, which have beaks that cannot be digested. But researchers also found plastic trash in the whale’s gut.

Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, who attended a fundraising dinner for the whale in February, said he was overjoyed by the return of a Whale to Singapore.

The skeleton of a 13m-long Indian Fin Whale (a disused name for Blue Whale) (Balaenoptera musculus) had been displayed at the old National Museum from 1907 to 1974 before it was presented as a gift to Malaysia.

Prof Koh said: “Jubi Lee is even better than the Whale we gave away because it was found in our waters, because it belongs to a species seldom found in our waters, and because the skeleton is in perfect order.”

Source: The Straits Times

And she’s up!

Come visit the museum over this March School Holidays! Mastercard holders get 20% off admission tickets from now till 31st March!

Source: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Instagram