(Click to enlarge) A new species of whale washed up on Alaska’s St. George Island in June 2014 (Credit: Karin Holser)
Like many good mysteries, this one started with a corpse, but the body in question was 24 feet (7.3 meters) long.The remains floated ashore in June of 2014, in the Pribilof Islands community of St. George, a tiny oasis of rock and grass in the middle of Alaska’s Bering Sea. A young biology teacher spotted the carcass half-buried in sand on a desolate windswept beach. He alerted a former fur seal researcher who presumed, at first, that she knew what they’d found: a Baird’s beaked whale, a large, gray, deep-diving creature that occasionally washes in dead with the tide.
(From National Geographic / by Phil Morin)– But a closer examination later showed that the flesh was too dark, the dorsal fin too big and floppy. The animal was too short to be an adult, but its teeth were worn and yellowed with age.
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