By Rachael Risby Raz | International relations manager
In a joint project of the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium and the Israel Marine Mammal Research Assistance Center (IMMRAC), the skeleton of one of the largest whales (17 meters/56 feet) to be washed ashore in Israel was excavated from the Nitzanim sand dunes last month.
The whale skeleton had been buried in the dunes as part of the preservation process following its arrival at the beach. In coordination and cooperation with INPA, the operation of uncovering the bones began with teams participating from the Biblical Zoo, the Israel Aquarium, and volunteers from IMMRAC.
At the end of two days of hard, back-breaking labor, the entire skeleton of the whale was revealed in all its glory. The bones were carefully packed and labeled and then transferred to the Aquarium where they will undergo cleaning and preservation processes, which are expected to take about a year.
At the end of the treatment of the bones and reconstruction of the skeleton, the whale will be displayed in a unique permanent exhibit that will allow visitors the opportunity to observe this huge marine mammal up close and gain a deeper understanding of the marine environment in our region.
By Rachael Risby Raz | International Relations Advisor
Photo Credit: Amir Sephiria
What is the connection between Passover and Lessepsian migration?
It was not only the people of Israel who crossed the Red Sea, over 300 species of fish, mollusks, jellyfish, crabs, and algae also crossed the Red Sea and passed through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened, creating a direct maritime passage between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. This route enabled the migration of species between the seas. The species that came from the Red Sea, accustomed to living in harsher conditions, managed over the years to establish steady populations competing with many native species from the Mediterranean Sea.
The phenomenon is still occurring today. It was named after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French diplomat in charge of the canal's construction.
In our aquarium, you can see the lionfish (pictured above), the marbled spinefoot, and other Lessepsian migrants.
Joel started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2006. Since then, he has visited more than 50 countries and photographed more than 13,000 species in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity.
Among the fish he photographed at the Zoo and Aquarium were species such as the Dead Sea Tooth Carp and the Yarkon Bream.
The Yarkon bream is only found in the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv and in several other streams in the country, but nowhere else in the world. The fish, which is a member of the carp family, is small and silver-gray in color and lives near the river bottom.
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