On an average day, there are plenty of oddities hanging around the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk, but this one might just leave them all behind. On Tuesday, a rare “saber-toothed” whale washed ashore on the California beach, puzzling scientists who rushed to the scene to determine the species.
Heal the Bay originally reported that the whale was a rarely-seen Alaskan species called the Stejneger’s Beaked Whale; however, on Thursday, the organization posted an update on its Facebook page, informing fans that the animal was even more special than was previously thought.
Researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger announced “Rare beaked whale update!… It JUST might be a similar but MUCH more rare species: the Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens)! There have been less than 20 strandings of this species world-wide: only two in the entire eastern North Pacific, and just one in southern CA (1954)!”
The fifteen-foot whale washed ashore with several shark bites and, although it was alive when first found, the animal died shortly afterwards. “We were very lucky,” said Heal the Bay volunteer Nick Flash. “These whales are incredibly rare and almost never seen in the wild.”
Photo Credit: Facebook.com/HealTheBayFans