The Spinnaker Exhibit is temporarily closed due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Provincetown. Click HERE to visit our Online Exhibition
The Center for Coastal Studies is home to the fully preserved skeleton of an 11-year old humpback whale named Spinnaker.
Spinnaker was born to Palette in 2004 and was a granddaughter to Compass.
Cataloged by the CCS Humpback Whale Studies Program, her name is based upon the sail-shaped marking on the lower left side of her flukes.
She was well-known to naturalists and scientists alike, spending her first summer with her mother off Massachusetts. Later she came to prefer more northerly areas of the Gulf of Maine (the body of water stretching between the Bay of Fundy in Canada and Cape Cod and Georges Bank to the south and east), such as the coast of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.
Spinnaker was found dead on the shore of Acadia National Park, Maine, in 2015. During her life she was known to have been entangled at least four times. Her second-known entanglement was lethal; something we now know due to the preservation of her skeleton.
Her story highlights the strength of collaborative research and response efforts and is a remarkably detailed example of the life of whales in the modern world.