The Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) is coming to you! Our collection of cetacean skeletons – the only one of its kind in North America – is usually installed in Tadoussac in Quebec’s Côte-Nord region. Pandemic, social distancing… coming to explore this museum nestled in the heart of whale country can sometimes seem overwhelming. But thanks to a great deal of digitization work, it is now possible to discover this unique collection from a tablet or a computer on the Bones with Stories to Tell website! Launched on the occasion of World Whale Day, this major initiative undertaken by the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) together with Digital Museums Canada and the firm Creo aims to raise awareness and inform the public about whales and the environmental wealth of the St. Lawrence.
“Each of the skeletons on display comes from a whale whose life ended on the shores of the St. Lawrence,” explains CIMM Director Patrice Corbeil. Among them is Piper, a female North Atlantic right whale, whose carcass washed ashore and was recovered in Gaspésie. What stories do her bones have to tell? What can they tell us about the life of this giant and its species? Last but not least, how is her destiny interconnected with that of humans? Discover Piper’s secrets and those of the seven other species on display: beluga, minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise and sperm whale. Beyond their incredible adaptations to the marine environment, they will show you what we can do to help protect other members of their species that are currently swimming in Quebec waters.
Both innovative and meticulous, the virtual Bones with Stories to Tell exhibition creatively presents the results of scientific research carried out in Quebec and across Canada on marine mammals and their environment. In addition to its scientific rigour, this online exhibition is also intended to be fun, sharing the stories of these whales with humour, tact and accuracy. It draws its inspiration from classic encyclopedias while offering a varied media experience that features a combination of videos, 2D and 3D modelling, illustrations, as well as sound content and photos, in addition to promoting user interactivity.
For students, but not only!
Bones with Stories to Tell is primarily intended for high school students and their teachers. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be asking for ID at the entrance! The site is well suited to parents or teachers who wish to discuss biology and the environment with their children or students. For sure, nature enthusiasts, whale aficionados, individuals wishing to learn about their impact on the environment and tourists planning a whale-watching trip will also fall in love with this virtual museum that is now just a couple of clicks away!