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Whale bone turns up during dredging in Caribou

This whale bone was found during dredging in Caribou Harbour.
This whale bone was found during dredging in Caribou Harbour.

The Northumberland Fisheries Museum in Pictou had a big gift dropped off last week – a vertebrae from a whale.

The large bone piece was given to the museum by one of the workers who is currently involved in the dredging of Caribou Harbour. It was found on Oct. 8.

“(The whale would) likely be 30-40 feet based on the size of it,” said Gary Nowlan, chair of the board for the Northumberland Fisheries Museum. He believes the bone likely came from a right whale, which are common in the area.

He said it’s hard to tell how old it would be, but appears to have been there a while.

The museum has another more intact vertebrae that was already part of their collection, but they were happy to have the piece found locally dropped off too.

“A lot of times these things get taken home by whoever is there. Years later they take them in,” Nowlan said.

Sometimes family members will find rare items like this after their loved one has passed away. The problem is that a lot of the background information is missing.

“You just don’t know where it came from,” Nowlan said.

This time though, because it was brought in right away, they have a record of the date found and the location, which adds to the interest.

The fisheries museum is currently closed for the season, but Nowlan said the vertebrae will be on display next year when the museum reopens.

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