Scientist discovered a 79-foot dead blue sub-adult female whale on Martin County’s Agate Beach situated in the Northern California on Thursday. The blue whale is one of the largest species on Earth. The whale washed up dead after hitting the ship. Scientists conducted an autopsy also known as necropsy that showed the animal died from blunt force trauma caused by ship collision, according to Mary Jane Schramm, a spokesperson for the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in San Francisco.
The whale was injured on the left side of her body. Around 10 ribs examined were found broken and 10 vertebrae near the tail and mid-body. It’s pretty difficult to find a carcass in such a good condition. It will be left on the beach for the process of decomposition after been eaten by birds and wash back into the ocean, researchers say. Around 2,800 i.e. around one-third of the whale population live off the California coast.
Barbie Halaska of The Marine Mammal Center said, “We rarely get an opportunity to examine the blue whales because of their endangered species.” “The opportunity to perform a necropsy on a carcass in this good of condition will help contribute to our baseline data on the species”, she further added. The whale was seen at least 11 times near the Santa Barbara channel. “Some ship strikes are inevitable, but we may be able to minimize the harm to whales if the ships are moving more slowly”, Schramm further added.
Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center, California Academy of Sciences and other organizations removed the stomach, liver, an eye, a part of the ear and other organs from the whale which will help them in finding out whether she had any diseases or high levels of toxic, what was her food intake and other information such as age.