Vertebrates and invertebrates of Nova Scotia

June 16, 2015

Last week I went to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the twice-yearly meet-up with my Index Data colleagues. On the last day, four of us took a day-trip out to Peggy’s Cove to eat lunch at Ryer Lobsters.

We stopped off at the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse on the way, and spotted a vertebrate, which I am pleased to present:


It’s a whale skull, but I have no idea what kind. Can anyone help out?

So much for vertebrates — it was really all about the inverts. Here are six of them:


I have a 2lb lobster here; my colleague Jakub went for two 1lb lobsters, as did Jason and Wolfram (not pictured). That’s Wolfram’s lobster closest to the camera, giving a better impression of just what awesome beasts these were.

Peggy’s Cove: recommended. For vertebrates and inverts.

(Thanks to Wolfram Schneider for these photos.)


10 Responses to “Vertebrates and invertebrates of Nova Scotia”

  1. Great post! Nova Scotia is beautiful.


  2. Ian Medeiros Says:

    Not sure about the skull itself, but the beautiful lichen growing on it looks like Xanthoria parietina.

  3. Mike Taylor Says:

    Dude, please. That’s not even an invertebrate.

  4. Ian Medeiros Says:

    And it and its congeners (e.g. are doing just fine without vertebra or exoskeletons or any other trappings of Animalia… that humble Xanthoria is certainly doing better than the whale or lobsters you’ve photographed!

    I’m an avid follower of SV-POW!, by the way… I’ve never read a post on here that wasn’t completely intelligible to my photosynthesis-orriented brain.

  5. Allen Hazen Says:

    We are not such men as our fathers were, nor are our lobsters such lobsters as theirs. Because of overfishing, modern lobsters are tiny compared to those of the past: in the old days they grew to over three feet long. Claws, by positive allometry, huge: I have seen an old, bleached, lobster claw (in the Peabody Museum, at Yale University) that was, I think, most of a foot long all by itself.

    And whale skulls with their elongated rostra, are FREAKY.

  6. Mike Taylor Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Ian. Allen, you’re right of course about overfishing in general. However it seems to me that Nova Scotia may be moderating its lobster consumption pretty well. The one I ate was as big as I could have done justice to, and they apparently have pretty strict rules on how old the lobsters must be before they can be harvested.

  7. Allen Hazen Says:

    News story, from the Bay of Fundy: a 25 pound (11+kg) lobster caught: to be displayed, then released.
    Photos, no scale bar.
    According to Wikipedia, the record weight is 44 pounds (20kg).

    So a few of the big ones are still around!

  8. Chase Says:

    I believe that is the skull of a Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Do you have pictures with other views of the skull?

  9. Mike Taylor Says:

    No other photos, I’m afraid. Thanks for the tentative ID, though!

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