After smugly flashing our ROM membership cards and bypassing the heaving crowds at the ticket counter, we headed downstairs in the ROM to take in the exhibit. It began by recounting the tragic story of how 9 blue whales came to be trapped in ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and how two of those whales ended up on the shores of Newfoundland. It also gave us a rundown of the recovery effort, which had to happen very quickly over the course of two weeks while the whale carcasses were still in relatively good shape.
There was also a section on the evolution of whales from four legged land mammals into the giant sea mammals that they are today. It featured the skeletons of various whale ancestors from throughout the ages, starting with a large dog-like creature with strong hind legs, and progressing through generations of mammals that spent an increasing amount of time in the water. The exhibit illustrated how the hind legs withered away as they became less important to survival, while a strong flat tail evolved for swimming.
Here are a few more pictures of the exhibit: