It was found after noon on Sunday 26 December, and died early on Monday morning, after attempts to rescue it failed. The Whale was measured at 12.2 metres long, and estimated to weigh about 20 tonnes (I would think that is an overestimation). This species of Whale is slightly longer, but less heavy than, the more familiar Hump-Backed Whale,
Another Bryde's Whale was found washed up on a beach at Iluka (Northern Rivers area of NSW) last Friday. That story includes a good image of that Whale.
Today Kirsten and I decided to go and see for ourselves the remains of this creature.
|Brydes's Whale at Shoalhaven Heads|
The Whale was found lying belly down, on Sunday. But at some stage it has rolled or been rolled by the waves, so it is now lying on its back, with the belly exposed and the ribbed skin of the throat clearly visible.
|Ribbed throat of the Bryde's Whale.|
|Eye socket of the Bryde's Whale|
|Lower abdomen and flanks of the whale|
The skin on the lower flanks has many marks of parasites on it. The fresh scratch marks are injuries incurred by the Whale before it died.
There are many strange patterned marks along the flanks. (Click to enlarge).
|Small fin of the Bryde's Whale.|
There was a steady stream of people walking to and from the tip of the beach. Two young Beach Patrol officers declined our requests for a lift in their 4WD Beach Buggy.
My legs ache from the unfamiliar amount of exercise.
******Post-script: Here how to NOT dispose of a whale carcase. An example from the USA.