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    In 2016, two adult male sperm whales beached off of Yangkou Port in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, China. The local government planned to preserve them as specimens, one was entrusted to Dalian Hoffen Biological Co., Ltd., and thus became the first sperm whale to be preserved by plastination. The other sperm whale was preserved in Nantong by the traditional stripping method (The skin was preserved, and then the prosthesis was filled into the skin to preserve the specimens. The material of the prosthesis was polyurethane. The outline of the animal was sculpted by suturing the skin like a bag and filling it with polyurethane). Plastination of such a large marine mammal allowed us to view the mutual adaptations of its internal structure to its specific living environment and daily habits. This sperm whale is the largest specimen in the world and this is the first time a sperm whale has been preserved using the plastination method. The plastination process also provides a method for studying the anatomy of large marine mammals for humans to understand deep-sea organisms at close contact and visual level. The plastination of this sperm whale promises to be a world class resource holding tremendous scientific, educational, and artistic value. © 2021 Anatomical Society.

    Citation

    Wen-Bin Jiang, Jian Han, Xue-Wei Ma, Hu Liu, Sheng-Bo Yu, Hong-Jin Sui. Plastination of a sperm whale. Journal of anatomy. 2022 Apr;240(4):669-677

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    PMID: 34761390

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