Thursday, September 29, 2011

{Press} Whale skull unearthed in Brewster

Cape Cod Times | Eric Williams | September 21, 2011

"BREWSTER — International Fund for Animal Welfare officials have uncovered what they believe is the skull of a North Atlantic right whale on Ellis Landing Beach today.

The large bone was discovered yesterday by a grounds crew from the nearby Ocean Edge Resort, according to IFAW officials. The resort crew thought the skull was a rock protruding from the sand that posed a toe-stubbing hazard to beachgoers. When the crew members attempted to remove it, however, they found there was much more below the surface and that it was not a rock.

IFAW and Brewster town officials were notified and are using shovels to dig around the bony structure, which appears to be 6-feet wide and 2 1/2-feet tall. At noon, it was unclear how much more of the skull was still buried under the sand. The skull showed signs of deterioration under the waterline, an IFAW official at the scene said.

Town of Brewster officials are still trying to figure out if they can get it off the beach today and where it would be taken. Wherever it ends up, scientists will study the skull and attempt to determine the identify of the whale and its lineage. Whales are identified by their flukes.

North Atlantic right whales are on the federal endangered species list. There are only about 300 to 400 North Atlantic right whales left in the Atlantic."


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editors note:

Right whales are not identified by their flukes but rather by the pattern of callosity on their heads along with other scars and identifiable marks.

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