The process of articulating a whale skeleton takes between one and two years, according to COA Al...The process of articulating a whale skeleton takes between one and two years, according to COA Allied Whale senior scientist Dan DenDanto '91. DenDanto is at the beginning stages of preserving the skeleton of Vector, a humpback whale well-known in New England waters. Credit: Dan DenDanto

Dan DenDanto, a research associate at College of the Atlantic and founder of Whales and Nails, has taken Vector, the 40-ton female whale who washed up dead on East Sandwich May 5 after 34 years of annual visits to the Cape.

DenDanto is part of the network of stranding agents coordinated under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that are performing a necropsy on Vector because she showed no obvious cause of death. He will be using her bones in a re-articulation alongside a humpback whale calf he acquired more than a year ago.

“Since that time last year I’ve had this dream, aspiration, to connect that calf skeleton in a meaningful exhibition,” DenDanto said. “Baleen female whales are bigger than males; [I’d like to] set that dichotomy of size.”

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