Home > USA > 79-foot blue whale carcass washes up on Bolinas beach

79-foot blue whale carcass washes up on Bolinas beach

A team of three scientists from The Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences responded to a blue whale carcass at Agate Beach in Bolinas on Friday, May 26, 2017. The whale was identified as a sub-adult female blue whale measuring 24 meters, or about 79 feet.  Photo: Courtesy: The Marine Mammal Center

Michelle Robertson

A 79-foot blue whale washed up on Agate Beach in Bolinas on Friday morning. The cause of death remains unknown.

Scientists from the Marin Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences identified the whale as a sub-adult female. The scientists will return Saturday to perform a full necropsy, having taken preliminary skin tissue and blubber samples Friday morning.

The Marine Mammal Center first received reports of a floating whale carcass off Bolinas late Thursday evening.

“We rarely have the opportunity to examine blue whales due to their endangered status,” said Barbie Halaska, research assistant at The Marine Mammal Center, in a press release. “The opportunity to perform a necropsy on a carcass in this good of condition will help contribute to our baseline data on the species.”

Fluke markings on the carcass helped scientists identify the cetacean in the Cascadia Research database. This particular creature was first spotted off the coast of California in 1999 and has been seen at least 11 times since then.

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