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Washed Up “Sea Monster” ?

By: Sara Walter to marine biology

Scary Sea Monster!

Sea monster or whale?  In Guangdong, China that is the big question right now. A 55 foot, 4.5 ton carcass has washed up on shore.  By the looks of the rotting carcass it seems to have been cut free by local fisherman at some point due to its size because it was found with ropes tangled around it.  The fact that it was found so badly decomposed makes it hard to positively identify.


Upon viewing photos of the rotting carcass Scott Baker of Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, Bill Perrin, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Bob Brownell, from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Fisheries Service agreed that there was no way it was 55ft. long.  The three biologist said that based on the grooves found on the carcasses neck it had to be a balaenopterid whale.   When the original size of 55ft was reported the biologists thought the carcass to be a fin whale, but because it doesn’t look to be 55ft. they determined that it’s probably a bryde’s whale. Because it is so rare to find a whale carcass on the coast of China the three marine biologist are hoping that someone collects samples of the tissue and bone for genetic analysis.

Despite the fowl scent of decomposition  people flocked from all over  to see the beast.  I’m sure it’s so they can see this unidentifiable sea creature for themselves just in case it’s truly an unknown sea creature. So… sea monster or whale?

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