Yesterday Ward Littlefield and I began preparing the sperm whale that we just collected from the Rappahannock River. One of the first bones that we cleaned is shown above, which turns out to be pretty interesting. These are the right jugal and lacrimal bones, fused together. The border between the two bones is indicated by the arrow. The jugal and lacrimal make up the bottom of the eye socket. Anterior is to the right, so this is a medial (inside) view of the bone. So it turns out that we did get at least one piece of the cranium.This is part of the jacket that Jeff collected prior to our arrival. The broad brown surface in the center and to left of center is the back end of a dentary; the front is at the top, and will hopefully attach to the rest of the dentary in one of our other jackets. There is a yellow patch over the bone in the center of the picture, below the scale bar. This is a sulfer-rich layer of sediment. Most of the bones and teeth from this specimen are surrounded by a thin layer of this sulfur-rich sediment, as well as sulfur-based minerals like gypsum. I suspect that this sulfur is derived from the decaying soft tissues from the whale.
Based on the comments, I decided to add a photo from a modern sperm whale, showing the location of the lacrimal and jugal. The photo below is of the mounted sperm whale skeleton on exhibit at the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima, Peru. The photo is from the right side, and the lacrimal and jugal are outlined in red.