Mystery Object 2 - Answer

Mystery object 2 is... the ear bones from a sperm whale!  The life of sperm whales is still very little understood.  They spend 90% of their lives underwater fishing in the darkness of
the deep scattering layer, a dense congregation of life including the rather large predatory squids and the definitively small Myctophid fish with their remarkable photophores illuminating the still waters.

How do the great whales feed?  Echolocation.  Sound pulses are emitted from the movement of air past precisely controlled muscle pads which reflect off objects ahead of the whales.  The reflected sounds are received by the ears and interpreted by the brain, a very large brain indeed!  This system has allowed the sperm whale to be a very effective feeder without the need for great eyesight. 

Unfortunately for the sperm whale the spermacetti, or oil contained within the head, led to
a great slaughter of these fantastic creatures and this was especially true in the Galapagos Islands.  In 1991 we established a Whale Sanctuary around the Galapagos to the 40 nautical mile limit of the Marine Reserve in which groups of females can fish and live their lives in their own way.  A hydrophone deployed in the vicinity of the feeding animals will thrill and fill with awe the mind that hears the resounding "clicks" and will remind the curious of one of evolutions great tricks... echolocation.