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Dead blue whale in Northern California

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Yesterday, I drove down to Bean Hollow State Beach (just south of Pescadero Beach at 37.227072, -122.410529) to see the dead 80-foot blue whale that washed ashore last Tuesday. Scientists found at least three fractured vertebrae and hemorrhaging in the whale’s belly, concluding that she may have died as a result of a strike from a large boat. A 6-month old fetus was ejected at some point during the last moments of the whale’s life and was found not far from its 75-ton mother. The baby was pure white — beautiful, really, and a stark contrast to the black rocks upon which it rested...

 

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The carcass of a dead 80-foot blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) in northern California. Scientists suspect the whale was struck by a large boat before beaching itself. The whale ejected a fetus before she died. The fetus was on the beach not far from the mother.

 

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A 6-month old blue whale fetus lies in the rocks at Bean Hollow State Beach

 

More images here:

http://echeng.com/journal/2010/10/11/dead-...le-boat-strike/

 

I saw Jason Bradley there, who was there during early morning light. I'm sure his images are great.

 

In response to these dead whale image, Howard Hall sent me a RED frame grab of a blue whale. INCREDIBLE. I hope he posts a video short.

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A blue whale was found dead in Iceland late in this summer...always terrible to see!

 

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Click here!

 

Gassa

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I am a volunteer at the California Academy of Sciences and one of my jobs is to clean bones for the Academy's collection. Last week I worked on some of the vertebrae collected from this female blue whale. Some of the bones were bruised, indicating a severe trauma that occurred while the animal was still alive. Others were broken. I've included some cameraphone photos in case anyone is interested:

 

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blue whale vertebrae by g-na, on Flickr

 

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blue whale vertebrae by g-na, on Flickr

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