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Huge Fin Whale Makes a Comeback at the Natural History Museum

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Just in case you missed it over the past four years, that huge 63-foot (that's two school buses long), 7,000 pound fin whale is back on display at the Natural History Museum. Originally acquired in 1926 from a whaling station in Northern California's Humboldt County, this fin whale specimen was continuously exhibited from 1944 through 2006 before it was removed to make way for the retrofit, restoration and renovation of the Museum’s 1913 Building, which is set to re-open in July 2010.

In the meantime, the whale specimen was also sent to a New Jersey lab for conservation. As of this weekend, it was back on display in a newly renovated gallery. Fin whales, by the way, are the second largest animals in the world, next to blue whales.

Stepping back from this specific exhibit, the museum is going through a huge transformation right now called NHM Next. More than half of the public space within the museum is being renovated, like the fin whale gallery, in hopes of giving the historic venue a boost in visitor engagement. A time-lapse video of the whale being put together is below.