Book Review-‘Whales’ Bones of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands’ by N. Redman

By Arthur G. Credland, published December 2020


This is the sixth volume (not including a supplementary volume and a monograph on the Ostend whale) contributing towards fulfilling the author’s aim to catalogue cetacean remains around the globe. There are two more volumes in preparation, one for the Americas and one for Africa and Asia, which will complete the series.

Many of the bones set up as arches, or property fences or scattered willy nilly, which once formed familiar landmarks, have been lost through time and the ravages of heat and storm. There are early photographs of some of these and especially of the complete whale skeletons of which an impressive number are preserved in Australasia’s museums, mostly from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of these were from harpooned whales and others from carcases washed on to the shore. Many bones have been retrieved from abandoned whaling stations along the shore and some of these old sites have been turned into visitor attractions, such as Whale World, Albany, Western Australia. At the nearby Cheynes Beach, excavations have revealed old floorings made from sections of vertebrae laid out like tiles. A path of similar construction, recorded from the Snug Bay (Eden) site, led from the beach to the station buildings…

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Filed under: Pacific
Subjects include: Whaling & Fishing

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