Cuvier's Beaked Whale

On March 18th 2000 a male Cuvier's Beaked Whale was washed up dead on Ballyconnel beach in Co.Sligo.  I saw it on Sun 19th and made the following notes: c17 ft long with 2 erupted teeth on the tip of lower jaw, no other teeth visable.  The lower jaw was slightly longer than the upper but in general the beak was not that pronounced.  The body colour was mainly
brown, especially above, fading to pink on the lower flanks and creamy below.There were no white spots or swirls and there was no white on the head unlike that shown in most illustrations.  The body was covered in scars inflicted by other males which mainly showed as parrallel grooves over the length of the body, some were very deep and both old and fresher scars were present; these animals clearly have very aggressive encounters. The dorsal fin wasn't visable due to the way the whale was lying.  The eyes bulged slightly from the head.  It's penis was extended.

I believe the Council planned to bury the whale the next day. Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me but I believe Don Scott may have photographed it.  He reported it to me and has an extensive photographic record of cetaceans washed up on the Sligo coast going back 20 years.

I hope this is of interest

Brad Robson


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