Once he swam through the sea, now the “whale of casting floats” over the heads of young researchers. Three years ago, the sea mammal was one of a group of hapless sperm whale-young bulls, which were lost in the North sea and were dead. Now his huge skeleton, prepared and with all sorts of screws and metal rods fixed in a lecture hall in the casting – away of the lake in the heart of Hesse.

Not only is this new home of a 15-Meter sperm whale is unusual, but also the commitment of the scientists and taxidermists that wanted to present on Wednesday evening, the skeleton for the first time. Because never you have here at the University of Gießen such a large animal prepared. Quite a pioneering achievement for a University in the inland country, however, Professor Volker Wissemann makes it clear: “in Principle, it is not particularly crucial, whether in the preparation of a cat or a whale in front of you.” The main problems were actually the size and weight, as well as the Oil content of the bones, says man who had the idea to bring the whale for the young work at the University of Giessen Know. “It was logistically a challenge.”

carcass by truck to the veterinary medicine

And the know-it-engine from the beginning: The whale man, in January 2016 dead in front of the island of Helgoland, was moored to a ship, to North beach, pulled, landed and disassembled. In a Container of the carcasses came by truck to the Giessen veterinary medicine. A crane is moving under the Gaze of numerous onlookers, the massive parts of the sea mammal. Taxidermy handles boldly in the sweet, smelly whale-Remains of bone, cartilage, fat and meat layers. You spotted the smaller skeletal parts, can you later put into the right place.

Because that was and is the claim of the Giessen scientists: all about 200 parts of the sperm whale Puzzles mount it properly. This is not “trivial”, the veterinary explained-anatomist Prof. Martin Bergmann after the arrival of the whale. In some museums, the skeletons were errors in the Detail.

“In most cases, it was clear that the bones belong to,” says Wissemann. The fins, however, had to be in the computer tomography: “as a result, the exact Position, number, and spacing of each “finger bones” in the fin visible, so that at the end of the groomed, the exact size of the fins as in the Original.” The challenge is now done, all the bones of the whale are correctly installed and that all spacing exactly as in the living animal. In addition, the cartilage, which can be decomposed during the lengthy preparation process were reconstructed.

a Week in a water bath

It was a long way until then: After your arrival in Giessen, the individual scrap parts of the whale first week in a water bath. Maceration is the process in which meat and Tissue debris from the bone to solve. Then it went into a specially made giant tub and a Enzymbad, in order to speed up the process. The bones were degreased, bleached, and finally, piece by piece. The help of the Giessen were, among others, of colleagues from Göttingen and Stralsund. At the end of the TÜV-tested on a custom-made, all-metal construction mounted skeleton on safety.