Sunday, May 28, 2017

Blue Whale Found Dead On Northern California Beach Likely Struck By Ship

79-foot female suffered blunt force trauma and several broken bones.
By Mary Papenfuss
May 28, 2017

A blue whale that washed ashore in northern California was struck by a ship, experts believe.

The female whale, 79 feet long, washed ashore Friday at Agate Beach in Bolilnas, about 13 miles north of San Francisco. Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito and San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences conducted a necropsy on site Saturday and took blood and tissue samples.

The carcass had major blunt-force trauma along its left side.


The entire left side of the whale was damaged from a boat strike, and the whale had 10 broken ribs and 10 fractured vertebrae from close to its tail to mid-body, according to Halaska.

The whale was identified through photographs of its tail in a database of the Cascadia Research Collective. It was spotted 11 different years beginning in 1999, most often off Santa Barbara.


Blue whales are the largest creatures on Earth. There are as many as 9,000 of them around the globe, and an estimated 2,800 off the California Coast.


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