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Natural History Museum Maastricht: Exhibition "Whale: Locality Maastricht"


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ziggycardon

Hi! 

I made a small visit to the Natural History Museum in Maastricht today to visit the new small exhibition named "Whale: Locality Maastricht" which centers around some Eocene whale bones from an undescribed whale found in the ENCI quarry in Maastricht. 


The exhibition explores further into the evolution of whales, it's a small exhibition but worth a visit if you haven't seen the museum or if you are really interested in whale evolution. 

 

Should any of our Dutch, Belgian & German members decide to visit (or international members who are in the area), then you should really grab a copy of the exhibition book. It is really cool and informative, it's only €2,50 but 125 pages long (both in dutch & english) and it covers the evolution of whales, the ENCI whale, modern whales & their biology and about whaling and whales in human history & myth. The exhibition book alone is well worth the visit in my opinion, I kinda compare it with the EOS magazine about Iguanodons & the book "Mammoths: ice age giants by Adrian Lister" but then about whales.

 

So here are the photo's I made of the exhibition.

 

The Exhibition Room:

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left: Metepocetus sp. neurocranium with preserved ear bones from Liessel in the Netherlands (Miocene)

Right: Isoluted vertebrae of various whale species from Liessel in the Netherlands (Miocene)

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Isolated vertebrae of Eocene primordial whales (Archaeoceti) dredged from the buttom of the North Sea, for comparison with those of the "ENCI whale"

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Isolated vertebrae of Eocene primordial whales (Archaeoceti) dredged from the buttom of the North Sea, for comparison with those of the "ENCI whale"5cf68852bc9f8_155965638634000624(18).jpg.fe6a08eae6433bec47b8cba33827991d.jpg

 

Smallest jaw: possibly Dorudon sp. from the late Eocene of Ad Dakhla in Morocco.
Bigger jaw: possibly Pappocetus lugardi, from the middle Eocene of Ben Gueran in Morocco.

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ziggycardon

The bones of the "ENCI Whale", an undescribed species of Eocene whale found in the famous ENCI quarry in Maastricht, The Netherlands (Late Eocene, 35 mya).

These bones were unearthed in 1979, but it wasn't until 2014 that their true significance was appreaciated.

The find is significant because only very few remains of Eocene whales are known from Europe and ofter very fragmented. The bones are believed to have belonged to a member of the Basilosauridae family.

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Cast of a partial skeleton of Indohyus from the Eocene of Kasjmir in Pakistan.

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Some Miocene whale & dolphin ear bones

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A modern dolphin skull

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A large modern whale vertebrae

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And I couldn't resist of visiting Prognathodon Bér again ;) 

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Ofcourse after the exhibition I took a quick visit through the museum but since I posted a topic about the rest already I am not going to do that again but if you want the see the rest of the Natural History Museum of Maastricht, here is that topic:

 

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Looks like you had fun today and the book you bought seems to be a good deal. :)

Thank you for the report, I try to go there some day

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FossilDAWG

This is the first I have heard of Eocene deposits/fossils in the ENCI quarry.  It makes it all the more tragic that the quarry is closing and the outcrop is scheduled to be covered up (according to the last I heard anyway).

 

Don

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ziggycardon
4 hours ago, Natalie81 said:

Looks like you had fun today and the book you bought seems to be a good deal. :)

Thank you for the report, I try to go there some day

Thank you, I did indeed enjoy my visit and yes the book is amazing :) 
The exhibition still runs till 12 junuary 2020, so there is still plenty of time to visit. :) 

 

2 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

This is the first I have heard of Eocene deposits/fossils in the ENCI quarry.  It makes it all the more tragic that the quarry is closing and the outcrop is scheduled to be covered up (according to the last I heard anyway).

 

Don

Yes, me too, I thought ENCI was only cretaceous. But apparently the scientists didn't know of Eocene deposits either since when the bones were originally found in 1979 they were believed to have been from the Oligocene. Recent research however dated them to the Eocene, that's why it has become such a significant find all of a sudden. :) 
And yes very sad about the ENCI quarry, I had always hoped to go on a hunt there one day, but I fear that won't be possible anymore. :(  

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Tidgy's Dad

Very nice report.

Thanks for sharing.:)

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FossilDAWG
2 hours ago, ziggycardon said:

And yes very sad about the ENCI quarry, I had always hoped to go on a hunt there one day, but I fear that won't be possible anymore. :(  

I collected there when I was a kid, back around the early 1970s.  I still have some things I found, which are all the more special since I won't be able to replace them.

 

Don

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Manticocerasman

Nice report Ken :)

 

They did a really good job on their presentation, the exhibition looks stunning :)

 

 

 

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ziggycardon
15 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

I collected there when I was a kid, back around the early 1970s.  I still have some things I found, which are all the more special since I won't be able to replace them.

 

Don

That's so cool, I would love to see the things you've found there. :) 
 

1 hour ago, Manticocerasman said:

Nice report Ken :)

 

They did a really good job on their presentation, the exhibition looks stunning :)

 

Thank you, although it's a very small exhibit room they really did make it look as pretty & informative as they could. :) 

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Max-fossils

Whoa, very cool! I'll definitely have to visit it soon then!

Thanks for sharing!

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