A young sperm whale separated from its mother and stranded on the Louisiana shores.
(Mirror Daily, United States) A young sperm whale was found dead in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. A person who went to the beach on the morning of October 20 alerted the authorities about the findings. There was nothing that wildlife experts could do to help the marine mammal, as it was already dead.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is in charge of the case of the young sperm whale. According to the specialists who investigated the case, the individual is a juvenile female. It is a calf actually, and the marine biologists believe that it must have been separated from her mother. They explain that sperm whales usually take good care of their calves and don’t leave them alone, especially at such young age.
Specialists couldn’t determine yet what drove the young sperm whale to the Louisiana beach. They know that whale populations are common in the Gulf of Mexico, but they do not venture so close to the shores. Experts believe that the juvenile female was a member of that population.
The young sperm whale measured twenty-three feet long. Experts performed a necropsy in the hope of setting the cause of death. In order to do so, they took samples from several organs of the marine mammal. However, wildlife specialists state that the calf had a bad health status when they first encountered it.
The results of the analyses can take quite some time. Researchers intend to take the samples to several labs in different states. They also hope to rule out all misleading diagnoses and find the one or the ones that led to the young female’s death.
Female sperm whales tend to look after their calves for as long as ten years. The recently discovered individual was definitely younger than this.
Sperm whales have many superlative-like features. They have the largest brains in the animal kingdom, weighing up to five times more than the human brain. They are also the biggest toothed whales and predators in the oceans. Males can even reach twenty meters long. They can also swim very deep as far two thousand meters and only the Cuvier’s beaked whales can surpass their record.
Sperm whales, which are also called cachalots, are famous for the elongated shape of their head. It stands as one-third of the full body length of the animal. The whale’s oil was highly valuable in the past centuries, and the marine mammals were severely hunted. However, sperm whales are now protected by law.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia