Page last updated at 00:07 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

Toothy reminder of lost big whale

Sperm whale. Pic: copyright WDCS/Charlie Phillips
The sperm whale beached in shallow water.

A tooth is believed to be all that remains of a sperm whale that beached and died near Inverness in the summer.

It is among an unusual collection of items held in the stores of Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

The large whale's appearance in the Inner Moray Firth was described by one conservationist as "like finding a panda in a supermarket".

Other artefacts and relics carefully stored away at the museum include toy rabbits and 1920s money boxes.

In the attached picture gallery, the BBC Scotland news website shows some of the items not regularly on public view.

Staff believe the tooth is all that now remains of the 40ft adult male sperm whale, which was cut into pieces and incinerated following its death in shallow water at Alturlie, near Fort George, in August.

Sperm whales are a deep diving species and the Moray Firth does not provide the large squid they feed on.

The conservation society's director of science, Mark Simmonds, said its appearance in the stretch of water was like finding a panda in a supermarket.

Hidden away in the stores of Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is an assortment of unusual artefacts and reminders of past lives.

The museum has one million items in its collection.

Print Sponsor

Beached sperm whale dies in firth
06 Aug 08 |  Highlands and Islands

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific