This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
Advertisement

Rare sabre-toothed whale found dead on California beach

The mammal is rarely seen in the wild.

Heather Doyle, director of the Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium pointing out shark bites found on the beached Stejneger's Beaked Whale.
Heather Doyle, director of the Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium pointing out shark bites found on the beached Stejneger's Beaked Whale.
Image: ASSOCIATED PRESS

A RARE WHALE that has a dolphin-shaped head and sabre-like teeth has been found dead on a beach in Los Angeles.

The roughly 15-foot-long female Stejneger’s beaked whale washed ashore at Venice Beach earlier this week.

A truck hauled away the mammal, which was being examined at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum to determine how it died.

The Stejneger’s beaked whale is rarely seen in the wild.

The species typically dives deep in subarctic waters to feed on squid and small fish. It is believed to migrate as far south as Northern California, and how the whale ended up so far south will probably remain a mystery.

“This is the best,” said Nick Fash, an education specialist for the Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay:

(Previous finds) aren’t anything like this. This is a treat.

Males are known for their sabre teeth that stick up midway from each side of the lower jaw. However, the teeth of females and their offspring remain hidden beneath the gum tissue.

The whale was alive when it washed ashore, said Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue.

Its body was covered in bites from so-called cookie-cutter sharks that feed by gouging round pieces of flesh from larger animals.

Because the species isn’t seen much anywhere, the autopsies of washed-up carcasses are the best source for scientists to gather information.

WATCH: Diver has luckiest escape after whale almost eats him>

Read: South Park misses deadline for the first time ever because of a power cut>

Watch an entire relationship… in five minutes>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (20)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel