Authorities in Daly City earlier this week announced that a blue whale was washed ashore on their coast. They also decided that the large marine mammal won’t be removed from the beach, but left there to decompose. Specialists who analyze the carcass believe they know the cause of death.
The blue whale was washed ashore in the proximity of the Thornton State Beach, on Wednesday, October 26. Marine specialists performed the necropsy the next day. Their analyses showed that it was an adult male which measured sixty-five feet long. The necropsy also revealed that the blue whale had cranial lesions.
The lesions on the blue whale’s skull lead researchers to believe that the large mammal might have been hit by a boat. The hit impacted the whale to such an extent that it lost its sense of orientation and ended up too close to the shore, and wasn’t able to return to the sea.
A group of twelve specialists from the Marine Mammal Center in California was in charge of the necropsy. Apart from the skull fractures, they also noted other signs of the impact on the whale’s body. The marks went down to the spine of the animal, and significant parts of its tissue were affected.
On the other hand, the specialists can’t state for sure that the whale was involved in a collision with a ship. First of all, no such event was reported by captains or sailors, which is the standard procedure for this type of incidents. However, the marine experts say that the marks on the whale’s carcass are very similar to the signs of such impacts.
The report from specialists also states that the area of the impact is significant. According to their analysis, it was about twenty to thirty feet wide.
The last blue whale which died in the area was reported six years ago. It was a female, and the cause of dead was sure by then. The animal has surely hit by a ship, as the frontal trauma on the carcass also suggested. Moreover, the female was also pregnant.
The sixty-five feet long carcass of the male blue whale will be left in the wild. The researchers explain that it will be naturally decomposed and eaten by other wild animals. In addition to this, there are no residential areas around; so no inhabitants will be disturbed.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia