The Blue Whale is the world’s largest known animal, ever. Biologists have been speculating how large the mammal’s inner organs must be, many expected the whale’s heart to be as big as a car. But scientists had not had a chance to actually dissect a specimen until a dead blue whale washed ashore in Newfoundland, Canada.
Jacqueline Miller, a mammalogy technician from the Royal Ontario Museum, and her team tried to retrieve the heart from the dead whale.
“We had to get the chest cavity opened to expose the heart and then get in there and free the heart up from all of the surrounding tissues, getting in with what was left of the lungs and blood, pretty much up to my waist,” she explains,
“It took four of us to push the heart out through a window we’d made between the ribs and the side of the chest cavity.”
The heart turned out to smaller than expected, the size of a “golf cart” but still weighing an impressing 180 kg.
You can see a video clip of the retrieved whaleheart, taken from BBC’s Big Blue Live series, below.