See a Gray whale skull at Beverly Beach (2011)

Gray whale vertebraeIf you are whale watching at Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area, one of the 24 designated Whale Watching Spoken Here sites, drive one mile south to Beverly Beach State Park for a different whale view.

Winter storms can uncover shipwrecks and centuries-old forests. The big storms of 2010 revealed a whale skeleton, and some of  those bones now reside in the park Welcome Center. The whale carcass first washed ashore in 2006. Park rangers buried the remains and figured end of story. But four years later,  the shifting sands of time exposed the whale bones.

Although it is illegal to take and keep marine mammal bones, Oregon State Parks filed for a permit to keep the bones for educational purposes. The skull, a  lower jaw bone, 23 rib bones, 23 vertebrae and most of the bones from one arm of the whale were hauled to the park shop yard. The bones sat in the sun until the lingering odor went away, and then they were cleaned and the permit number etched on each bone.

Whale bones aren’t light. It took four park rangers to carry the partial skull inside the Welcome Center. The lower jaw bone and some of the arm bones also are displayed.

Beverly Beach State Park (park description, map & driving directions)
Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area (park description, map & driving directions)

Posted on December 15, 2011, in state parks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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