Whale Skeletons

What are the whale skeletons in the library all about? Well, they were found by a few Dimond teachers and then articulated to be a nice decoration in the Dimond High school library. “I once saw 400 whales at once,” Dimond English teacher James Diehl said. “The whale skeletons were found by one of the teachers. It was a beached whale.” The big whale was a beluga whale. “One of us found the whale and we started hacking them up and put them back together,” he said. “I did not have a big part in articulating the whales. I photographed them.” Diehl photographed the whale’s bones, so those putting them together again would know where they should go. ”Most of the work was done by the Biology teachers,” he said. Those teachers were Dimond Science teacher Laurel Stutzer and former Dimond teachers Tania Spurkland and Chris Backstrum. The main reason why Diehl was part of the whale project was because he loves whales, especially beluga whales. “Beluga whales are really cool,” said Diehl. He is also very worried about them,. “They are in trouble,” Diehl said. Mathew Marino, a junior at Dimond , had noticed the whales in the library. “They seem pretty interesting,” Marino said. He doesn’t know too much about them, just that “I have Mr. Diehl as an English teacher sixth hour and he talks a lot about the whales. And particularly about the ones in the library. I know that Mr. Diehl had something to do with them. “I would like to know why they are there and why they are in the air and not on the ground, and they are not what you see every day, unless you go to Dimond, of course,” Marino says. Why would anyone want to participate in the articulating of a whale? Stutzer answers by saying, “I like blood and guts.” The big whale was found with no head near Bird Creek on Turnagain Arm in 1996. When Stutzer and the other teachers finally got a permit to use the whales, they recruited students and other teachers immediately to start “hacking at them right away.” The project took the students and the teachers who were involved about a year to finish. Stutzer’s part in articulating the whale was to boil the bones to get the meat off of them. Once Stutzer finished boiling them, she soaked the bones in ammonia to get everything else off, and once that was done she finally bleached the bones, which makes them clean and white. Stutzer loves working with bones and anatomy. Currently, she is working on articulating a lynx.