Unidentified whale species with unidentified injuries found dead off California coast

The corpse of a rare species of beaked whale was recently washed up on a California beach with mysterious

wounds on the muzzle and scratches all over the body. Experts are not sure what caused these injuries, how the whale died, or even what species the sharp-nosed animal belongs to.

The remains of an unusual dolphin-like whale4.9 meters were found in May on the beach of the Jug Handle State Nature Reserve near Fort Bragg. A team from the nearby Noyo Marine Science Center located the body with the help of researchers from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The team collected blubber, organ and skull samples from the whale and sent them to the National Marine Mammal Tissue Bank in Charleston, South Carolina, for analysis.

Little is known about these mysterious whales.belonging to the family Ziphiidae. Scientists believe that there are about two dozen species, but of these, only a few, including Baird's beaked beak (Berardius bairdii) and Cuvier's beaked beak (Ziphius cavirostris), have been carefully studied.

Their ability to dive deep and stay underwater for three hours is one of the main reasons why scientists know so little about beaked whales. “They aren’t seen often, dead or alive, which makes finding a dead whale really important,” said Moe Flannery, senior manager of bird and marine mammal sampling at the California Academy of Sciences, in an interview with news site SFGate.

A recently beached specimen, probablyis the Hubbs beaked whale (Mesoplodon carlhubbsi) or Steineger's beaked whale (Mesoplodon stejnegeri). However, it could also be the ginkgo-toothed whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens) or the pygmy beaked whale (Mesoplodon peruvianus). DNA sequencing from whale tissue samples will help determine the exact species.

A team from the Noyo Center noted that around the beakThe whale had unusual, unpleasant-looking injuries, but scientists were unable to say what caused them. “It looks like there is some kind of trauma near the jaw, but until scientists look at the skull itself, it’s hard to say what caused it,” explains Trey Petrie, manager of the interpretive department at the center of Noyo, who helped bring the dead whale from the beach .

One of the possible causes of whale injuries iscollision with a ship. Beaked whales and other cetaceans (a group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises) are most at risk. The fact is that they use sound to navigate, and noise pollution from boats can disorientate them.

Read more

Gravity and dark matter do not exist: the main thing about the new work of physicists

Something strange is happening in the Universe: how to explain inconsistencies in the Hubble constant

Why do they really want to cancel the Bologna system of education in Russia

</ p>