Photograph taken of bushfire effected sperm whale skull on a beach in Lorne following Ash Wednesday.

This image was taken by Andrew Wegener on a field survey following the Ash Wednesday Bushfires on the beaches between Apollo Bay and Torquay. The survey studied the effects of bushfire on the wildlife and a number of specimens were photographed and collected that day. Andrew Wegener donated 15 of the specimens to the ornithology collection at Museum Victoria for study and research and published a paper in the Australian Bird Watcher describing the survey and its findings.

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Image of Sperm Whale skull lying on rocks.


This series of images is significant in a number of ways. It references the effects of bushfire on wildlife and illustrates quite literally the power of the heat and ambient environment during a bushfire. Most of these animals showed no outward signs of bushfire effect. Most died from heat or smoke exhaustion. Further these images illuminate a small collections in the ornithology collection made up of samples from this survey. Whilst the images give a human context to the specimens and reveal how and when the survey was conducted they also stand as a visual identification for what are now only bones.

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