A six-meter-long carcass washed up on the shores of DoroƄ National Park, leaving experts baffled about its species. The mysterious creature had similar characteristics to a bottlenose dolphin, but was almost two meters too big. After a long debate, scientists concluded that the odd creature probably belongs to the whale family – most likely a Cuʋier’s Ƅeaked whale.
The Cuʋier’s Ƅeaked whale can grow up to seven meters long and is a cigar-shaped mammal distributed in more than three-quarters of the world’s oceans. The researchers were fairly confident that the specimen was a Cuʋier’s Ƅeaked whale based on the shape of the head and snout and the overall size.
Dr. Siмon Elwen, a researcher from the NaмiƄian Dolphin Project (NDP), said that the body of the animal was in an advanced state of decomposition, making it look rather un-whale-like, and there were several confused reports on social media. It was not possible to discover the cause of death due to how much the whale had rotted and the fact that its head had been severely crushed.
Despite the state of the corpse, Dr. Elwen was surprised by the discovery, as these animals are rarely seen in the water, let alone on land. The lower jawbone was cracked and broken quite severely, but given the absence of any apparent external injuries, the damage to the jaw was possibly post-mortem.
The mysterious creature may have left scientists baffled, but it has also sparked a renewed interest in marine wildlife and the importance of protecting these creatures and their habitats. As our understanding of these animals and their behaviors evolves, we may be able to better protect them in the future.