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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

This 58 foot long whale covered in bite marks has washed up in New York

The large mammal washed up about 77 miles from New York City.

The whale washed ashore on Thursday.
The whale washed ashore on Thursday.
Image: Business Insider

A WHALE WASHED ashore on Long Island on Thursday with bite marks “bigger than a Chihuahua,” Kim Durham of the Riverhead Foundation told Newsday.

Long Island

The 58-foot fin whale was discovered about 8am on Thursday near the campgrounds at Smith County Park in Shirley, New York. That’s about 77 miles from New York City.

Durham said that the creature was missing most of its skin and was in an advanced state of decomposition.

The bite marks indicated that “large sea animals, possibly a shark, had fed on the carcass post-mortem,” Durham added. The fin whale’s only natural predator, apart from humans, is the orca whale.

li-whale-donato-geraci1 The whale washed ashore on Thursday. Source: Business Insider

The fin whale is an endangered species, with conservative estimates placing about 1,700 North American specimens left in the ocean. It’s also the second-largest whale in the world, after the blue whale.

Fin whale

It can grow to be as long as 85 feet, though those found in the Northern Hemisphere, such as in the waters around New York, typically top out at 75 feet. Adult fin whales can weigh anywhere between 40 and 80 tons.

Marine biologists at the Riverhead Foundation performed a necropsy and reported yesterday that the whale was likely struck by a boat, adding that “samples will be sent out for further analysis to confirm these preliminary findings”.

Fin whales typically have a lifespan of 80 to 90 years. The Riverhead Foundation has not announced how old this whale was when it died.

These whales can be a big pain to move, since they start to rot and smell, even ballooning up and threatening to explode. The Riverhead Foundation plans to work with county officials to dispose of the carcass.

li-finback-whale Source: Business Insider

Read: There’s plenty of Humpbacks out there, but this year’s Whale Watch day was a bit of a washout…>

Read: Kayaker’s encounter with a humpback whale is way too close for comfort>

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