Whale Scoliosis

What was originally thought to be a horrific injury from a ship strike may very well be a case of scoliosis for a humpback whale off the Hawaiian island of Kauai. A KITV news story two days after the original took the sting off of the images of this unfortunate whale, several of which can be seen in the KITV article.

Reyna, The North Atlantic Right Whale skeleton that hangs in the Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery, also suffered from a bit of scoliosis. It can seen in the upper part of her thoracic spine, within vertebrae 13 – 16.  This doesn’t seem to have had any negative impact on her daily life before she was tragically killed by an accidental ship strike in November 2004.

North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Jacobs Family Gallery. NBWM teen apprentice photo, 2010.


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