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Unknown whale species washes up on beach in northern California

Audacy logo Audacy 5/21/2022 Lucy Fasano
The tide rolls in to the shore around a bay and headland south of Mendicino California with defocused purple flowers in the foreground and misty shore and horizon stretching out behind. © Provided by KCBS Radio San Francisco The tide rolls in to the shore around a bay and headland south of Mendicino California with defocused purple flowers in the foreground and misty shore and horizon stretching out behind.

An unknown whale species washed up on a Mendocino County, California beach recently, prompting curiosity for both locals and scientists.

According to SFGATE, the beaked whale was 16-feet-long and resembled a large dolphin with tiny flippers. The whale was found by a person walking in Mendocino County's Jug Handle State Natural Reserve near Fort Bragg.

Scientists from the Noyo Center for Marine Science, Cal Academy of Science, and the Marine Mammal Center worked together to perform a necropsy. They are investigating the cause of death and if any environmental factors had an impact on the animal, the newspaper reported.

They collected samples of the tissues, blubber, organs, and skull and sent them to the Marine Mammal Center for genetics testing to figure out the species. Those findings may take several weeks for a complete analysis.

There are many different species of beaked whales, and Moe Flannery, senior collections manager of ornithology and mammalogy at the Cal Academy of Sciences, told SFGATE that she believes this one is a Hubbs' or a Stejneger's beaked whale.

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