Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Stranded Whale's Stomach 'Empty'

Stranded Whale's Stomach 'Empty'

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 11:00am 19th February 2020.

Photo: British Divers Marine Life Rescue

 

We may be a step closer to solving the mystery of the stranded whale on a Cornish beach.

Experts have been trying to work out why the sixty foot fin whale died on the Lizard.

The giant creature was found at Nare Point on Friday afternoon.

Marine experts who rushed to the scene said the animal was already dead by the time they arrived.

They think it had got stuck up on rocks during the morning's high tide.

Since then a post-mortem has taken place to try to work out what happened.

It found that its stomach was empty, meaning it would have been very weak and starving when it died.

 

"The pathologist who undertook the post-mortem found no signs of plastic in the stomach nor actually any signs of feeding, which would explain why the animal was so thin.

"It is an amazing thing to see. It is an incredibly sad thing to see. But what we always try to remember is that from this really sad event we can get some invaluable information about these animals that are otherwise so difficult to study.

Abby Crosby, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

What do we know about fin whales?

Fin whales are the second largest mammal in the world, after the blue whale.

They have long, slender bodies that can grow up to a whopping 80 feet in length.

With a distinct ridge running behind the dorsal fin, in some countries they have earned themselves the nickname “razorbacks” and cut through the water with ease.

Like other baleen whales, fin whales have expandable pleats that allow them to take in huge amounts of water and food.

They then sieve the water out through their baleen plates before ingesting their delicious meal, consuming up to 2,000kg of krill in a day.

Fin whales can be found all over the world’s oceans. Most at home in the deep, open ocean, they prefer cooler waters and are rarely found in tropical waters.

Like other large whales, fin whales are thought to migrate between feeding and breeding grounds.

Fin whales can live for a really long time. One whale that was killed in Antarctica was discovered to be around 111 years old.

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