Diving killer whale, Marine Mammal Skeleton Project, UBC
The skeleton of this southern resident (salmon-eating) orca, A57, was found in Frolander Bay, B.C. in 1996. A57 was a fully mature female who was born with a jaw deformity and elongation causing misalignment and wearing of her teeth which eventually led to a tooth infection and eventual mortality. It has been speculated that, as first-born calf, a high load of environmental toxins in her mother's milk may have been the cause of her untimely death.
A57 has been captured in a powerful tail-thrust as she dives aggressively with open jaws toward her prey. Minor damage to the skeleton has been repaired, barring the substantial wearing of her teeth shown in her replicated set. The colour of her skeleton is original. She is suspended by thin stainless cables with an entirely internal steel armature, hidden by bone and artistically represented cartilage.
Photos (from left to right): skeleton from right side: lumbar and caudal vertebrae with pelvic girdle; skull with hyoid apparatus and first thoracic
Skeletons > Orca