Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Today Wen & I went for a walk around UBC. I love exploring their campus with its diverse architecture, museums and forest trails.

I’ve been waiting for a long time to get inside the Beaty Biodiversity Museum to see their blue whale skeleton. The poor thing hit a ship, died and was buried in PEI in the 1980s; 20 years later it was dug up and the skeleton reassembled for the museum.

The skeleton’s visible from outside the museum; here’s what it looks like on the inside:

Interesting facts:

  • Each of those jawbones – the largest single bone of any animal on earth – are each eight meters long and weighs 550 kilograms
  • A blue whale’s heart is the size of a car and only beats 5 to 10 times per minute
  • A blue whale usually has 30 or 32 ribs – but this one has 31
  • Total weight of this animal: 150 tons (equivalent to 33 full-grown elephants). The species maxes out at 180 tons

The building itself is also beautiful. There’s a courtyard surrounded by the building proper. Some of the students have cheekily decorated the windows. And, if you walk around the courtyard, you can see additional skeletons beyond the whale.