Examining the blue whale: the move begins

Go behind the scenes as conservator Lorraine Cornish and curator Richard Sabin examine the Museum's blue whale skeleton and the first bones are taken down.

As part of ambitious plans to increase visitors' engagement with the natural world, our 4.5-tonne blue whale skeleton is being moved to the central Hintze Hall, where it will be one of the first things visitors see when they enter the Museum.

But after 81 years suspended in the Mammals Hall with minimal contact, will the skeleton be strong enough to sustain the dynamic pose planned for it in its new home?

Skeleton up close

In this behind-the-scenes film, the team finally mounts the scaffolding around the whale to assess the skeleton's condition up close.

Curator of Marine Mammals Richard Sabin and Head of Conservation Lorraine Cornish have been two of the key figures in planning the move.

As the delicate process of removing bones from the specimen begins, Richard and Lorraine shed light on the scale of the task ahead of them. 

BBC Radio 4 Natural Histories

The final episode of series one explores humanity's complex relationship with whales - as well as examining what the Museum's blue whale means to the public.

Listen on demand at the Natural Histories website.

Hintze Hall redisplay

From the summer of 2017, Hintze Hall will be reimagined to lay bare the relationship between humans and the natural world.