Endangered whale jawbone in teacher's backyard
January 2nd, 2011
01:49 PM ET

Endangered whale jawbone in teacher's backyard

The jawbone of an endangered blue whale is now in the backyard of a home in Northern California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The whale, which was pregnant, had apparently died after colliding with a ship. It washed ashore off the San Mateo County coast in October, as seen in the photo above. Elementary-school teacher Dan Sudran, known for his hands-on approach to getting kids excited about science, told the newspaper that he wanted the bone to go to Pescadero Elementary School, where he works. Here was an 80-foot blue whale on shore, a rare event. The last whale of its kind washed up in 1979. Sudran quickly got to work and obtained the necessary permits to transport the whale's jaw bone - which measures 20 feet -  to his backyard.

It will be on display at the school. A curriculum is being designed around it that will provide lessons in reading, science and ocean life, the paper reports. The whale's remaining bones are going to other institutions.

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Filed under: California • Science
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Julia

    If "it" was pregnant, then SHE washed ashore. Stop referring to animals like they are (or in this case were) inanimate objects.

    January 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      You animal lover its definitely NOT human...REMEMBER THAT! Man, it doesn't take much for y'all to come out the cracks...

      January 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • coop111

      Does "IT" really matter? Anyone smarter than a three year old could figure out that if it was pregnant, then it was a "she". Does the news article have to tell us every little detail?

      January 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |

    it would be awesome to have a 20' bag of 'BIG LEAGUE CHEW' bubble gum next to the whale jaw bone.

    January 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fiona

    Even a cleaned-up bone from a rotting whale carcass stinks more than you can imagine. This teacher went beyond the call of duty to extract that bone and transport it to his backyard. Presumably, that is where he treated it with bleach and made it ready for his students to enjoy. Good work, Dan Sudran (and whoever you got to help you with that very unpleasant task).

    January 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Actually after a bone is cleaned and dried it has no odor. Although it takes a long time to dry a 20 foot bone. There is alot of Marrow inside.

      January 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |

    why do whales smell so bad?

    January 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gaylord

    This sooo cool. These kids are BLESSED to have a teacher like him.

    January 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Ewwwww! That is one dedicated teacher! Wish there were more like him around...

    Why DO whales smell bad?

    January 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |

    because they can't afford a 100' toothbrush and mega-sized toothpaste.

    January 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |

    btw. some one is going to have to man up and tell the whales that they stink! and need to use soap and wash all the body parts. just cause there in the water all day doesnt count.

    January 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jimzcarz

    Great job to the Teacher making a positive outcome of this bad situation.
    This will be better than any powerpoint you could ever assemble.

    January 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MissAnthrope

    I'm afraid I don't care.

    January 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cat

    wale, does the teacher live in the ghetto?

    January 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rock

    was it the queen?

    January 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Timetraveler

      It's a whale, not a bee. Whales don't have "queens". Take a zoology class.

      January 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NappySter

    Whale done!

    January 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Timetraveler

    Let me guess: the poor whale collided with a big ass Royal Caribbean cruise ship carrying fat, drunk, waste of space morons who found a coupon in the mail.

    January 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rock


    January 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
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