John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The dead behemoth that appeared south of San Francisco is "emaciated."
The Bay Area suffered a massive bummer this week, when the carcass of a nearly 50-foot sperm whale was spied on a beach just south of San Francisco.
The behemoth is still at Mori Point in Pacifica, for anybody who wants to touch it like the guy above. Experts from Sausalito's Marine Mammal Center are cutting it apart for a necropsy and removal, and though cause of death has yet to be established, it looks "emaciated," reports the Associated Press. Here's more:
The animal, which was first spotted Tuesday, is one of 17 dead sperm whales to beach along the North Coast of California during the 40 years that the center has been handling such cases, a spokeswoman said....
In 2008, a 51-foot adult male sperm whale was found washed ashore in Point Reyes, north of San Francisco. Scientists who performed a necropsy found more than 450 pounds of trash in his stomach, which caused his death. The trash was used to create an art exhibit at the center's headquarters to teach visitors about the importance of keeping trash from oceans.
In January, a rare pygmy sperm whale died after beaching itself in Point Reyes. Investigators said it had likely gotten sick and was too weak to swim.