On January 31, 1767, during a storm, a high jet of water was sighted from a village near Zara, in Dalmatia, and below it, a large dark mass in the waves. Immediately four large boats with about twenty sailors “armed with rifles and mannaje” headed towards the enormous animal which was unable to get back to sea. The sailors unloaded a barrage of bullets on it and “the water appeared tinged with blood”, but the animal continued to fight for six hours, overturning a boat with a blow of its tail and biting another, before being killed by a blow to the head. The remains of the sperm whale were recovered by the Serenissima and transported to Padua to enrich the University’s Natural History Cabinet. Of this specimen, the skull, jaws, about fifteen vertebrae and ribs and some bones of the pectoral fins remain today. The head bones, originally erroneously assembled with the skull upside down and jaws disjointed in imitation of a whale, were relocated to the correct anatomical position.