Activity or Mini-Lesson

Whale Fall 3D Model

Whale skeleton 3D model
Ocean Exploration Trust

Here 3D photogrammetric reconstruction of whalefall discovered at the bottom of the ocean near the Davidson Sea Mount off of Monterey Bay, CA. The species of this whale is still being determined, but it is speculated to be a young Grey or Humpback Whale, which are often predated upon by Killer Whales in the area. The whale is approximately 4 to 5 meters (13 to 16 feet) in length and was found at a depth of over 3000 meters (9,800 feet). Researchers at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and E/V Nautilus happened upon this whale in 2019, while surveying the nearby octopus brooding grounds. Several octopus and species of bone-eating worms, called Osedax, which appear as red fur on the tail section, can be seen scavenging the whale.

This model was reconstructed by a team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute using approximately 600 still frames from video taken by ROV Hercules.

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