A 16 foot male Sowerby’s beaked whale carcass found washed up near Campbellton, Canada will be cleaned and stored as part of the New Brunswick Museum whale collection.
Although in reasonable condition when discovered, possibly having died only a few days beforehand, the necropsy carried out by the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative at the University of Prince Edward Island, was unable confirm cause of death. Believed to primarily feed on squid and molluscs, the stomach contents will be studied in more detail.
It is unusual for this particular whale species to come close to shore and is the first time a mature male Sowerby’s beaked whale has been found in these waters. This species typically range in waters 200 to 1,500 metres (650 to 5,000 ft) deep and, historically, was the first of the beaked whales to be discovered. These whales are reclusive creatures and rarely sighted, but have been seen in groups of 8-10 individuals, a mix of males, females and calves.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has ranked the Sowerby’s beaked whale status as indeterminate.