An extremely rare whale that’s almost never spotted by humans alive turned up in a pretty unlikely place this week — a beach in California.
It’s being called the saber-toothed whale and it’s known for its saber-like teeth. It prefers to swim in extremely cold waters of the Bering Sea around Alaska and Japan. (Via Los Angeles Times)
So scientists were shocked when the body of this 15-foot, 2,000 pound whale that washed up on Venice Beach Wednesday was identified as a female saber-toothed whale. (Via KTTV)
The carcass was apparently pretty well-preserved and in good shape except for a few bites from cookie cutter sharks. (Via Business Insider)
You can’t see the creature’s trademark teeth because the females don’t have them. But according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the males have two large teeth that jut out of the lower jaw.
Researchers are eager to study the whale’s body to gather more information on this elusive species.
“...because it’s a rare opportunity to study the natural history of these kinds of animals that are so rarely observed, even by marine specialists.” (Via CNN)
How the whale ended up in California will most likely remain a mystery. (Via Mother Nature Network)
The carcass was picked up by the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum so it can be studied by scientists who hope to learn more about the species and what caused its death.
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