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Rarely-seen deep water whale washes up on Massachusetts beach

Published 26/07/2015

The rarely-seen deep water beaked whale that washed ashore on Jones Beach Massachusetts (New England Aquarium/AP)
The rarely-seen deep water beaked whale that washed ashore on Jones Beach Massachusetts (New England Aquarium/AP)

A rarely-seen deep water whale has washed up on a Massachusetts beach and biologists are investigating how it came to be there.

The carcass of the 17ft female, weighing almost a ton, was found on Friday on Jones Beach in Plymouth.

New England Aquarium biologists and staff from the International Fund for Animal Welfare are performing a post-mortem at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

They believe the whale is a Sowerby's beaked whale, but the aquarium has not handled a beaked whale since 2006.

Several species of beaked whales are found about 200 miles offshore in the North Atlantic.

The whales have long, slender snouts and feed in cold, deep water on small fish. Commercial fishermen sometimes net them accidentally.

The carcass offers a chance for biologists to learn more about them.

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