Whales have skeletons that are mainly composed of the same materials as the skeletons of other vertebrates. These materials consist mainly of collagen fibers woven together with small, inorganic crystals, according to the University of Cambridge.
Minerals found in the bones are mainly calcium and phosphorous, though bones typically also contain smaller amounts of silicon and zinc. Cartilage, also mainly composed of collagen, is a component of whale skeletons. Whale skeletons differ from those of terrestrial vertebrates in that they contain relatively high amounts of energy-rich oil in their bones and soft tissue, notes an article from Royal Society Publishing.