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Gavin Hanke Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum (@RoyalBCMuseum) on the life, death and anatomy of Rhapsody – the skeletal star of the museum’s fantastic exhibit Orcas: Our Shared Future #RBCMOrcas – which is open until 2022 before touring the world (and was written by Skaana host, Mark Leiren-Young @leirenyoung).
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- “This is a typical skeleton and it’s in beautiful shape… Rhapsody here, she was in the prime of her life… She was basically perfect.” (10:09)
- “It’s kind of like LEGO, but with a real, with a real animal, it was, it was a lot of fun to put one together.” (12:24)
- “Anyone thinking a museum job is nine to five and you go home and forget about it, it’s not the way museum work is. You’re always on. You’re always thinking about it and you’re not. I make the joke that these things aren’t getting any deader, but we don’t want them to degrade. We want these specimens here for thousands of years. As long as humans exists, we want these specimens available for research and study and the older they get, the more value that the valuable they become, because you can’t go back in time to collect a killer whale from 2014. This is now a time capsule. So the one neat thing about a museum is you can go back in time in a sense and handle specimens from the 1800’s. Nowhere else can you do that. No one else preserves the actual physical evidence from the past. And that’s the beauty of museum work.” (15:41)
- “I think anyone who works at a museum also has a very supportive spouse because sometimes you come home, like, if I’ve been moving whales, I will come home smelling like whale fat..” (18:02)
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- 0:00– Assembling Rhapsody’s skeleton with Gavin Hanke
- 1:50– Mark’s Welcome. Start of the Skaana Podcast
- 5:37– Start of the interview. Orca anatomy.
- 6:47– The story of Rhapsody.
- 10:05– Explaining Rhapsody’s skeleton.
- 10:27– “Rhapsody here, she was in the prime of her life. Her skeleton’s in beautiful shape. No deformities, as far as I can tell, she was basically perfect. Her teeth are really nice. They’re not really all that worn. Um, but yeah, the animal’s very, it doesn’t look all that complex when you’ve got it all laid out on a floor.”
- 12:24– “It’s kind of like Lego, but with a real, with a real animal, it was, it was a lot of fun to put one together.”
- 13:59– Care and cleaning of marine skeletons.
- 16:15– This is now a time capsule. One neat thing about a museum is you can go back in time in a sense and handle specimens from the 1800’s. Nowhere else can you do that. No one else preserves the actual physical evidence from the past. And that’s the beauty of museum work.”
- 16:55– What it’s like to work at the museum
- 18:02– “I think anyone who works at a museum also has a very supportive spouse because sometimes you come home, like, if I’ve been moving whales, I will come home smelling like whale fat.”
- 25:31– Secret treasures of the Royal BC Museum
- 27:22– Message from Mark Leiren-Young for our Patreons. Support independent coverage of issues facing the Southern Resident Orcas at www.patreon.com/mobydoll