Exceptionally rare conjoined whales found in Mexico

Locals in Mexico were shocked to spot a pair of conjoined gray whales dead on the shore. Scientists in Mexico’s Laguna Ojo de Liebre, or Scammon’s Lagoon, discovered the conjoined gray whale calves, and it could be the first documented case of Siamese twin gray whales. Conjoined twins have occurred in other species, notably fin, sei and minke whales. However, an online search and a search of the database at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County did not reveal published instances of conjoined gray whale twins. Unfortunately, the twins discovered in Scammon’s Lagoon did not survive and most likely were miscarried, reports grindtv, an outdoor sports website. The carcass is only about seven feet long, versus the normal 12 to 16 feet for newborn gray whales. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, an American Cetacean Society researcher, pointed out that the twins were severely underdeveloped and wondered whether the birth or stillbirth might also have killed the mother. The twins’ carcass has been collected for study. Images were posted by the Guerrero Negro Verde Facebook page, with the translated statement, “Unfortunately, the specimen died. [Its] survival was very difficult.” More images were posted to Facebook by local Jesus Gomez. Gray whales are arriving in Scammon’s Lagoon and other lagoons along the Baja California peninsula, after a nearly 6,000-mile journey from Arctic home waters. They give birth during the southbound journey, or in the lagoons, and nurse their calves for several weeks before embarking on their northbound journey back to the Bering and Chukchi seas. According to NOAA, the Pacific gray whale population numbers about 21,000. Most calves are born during the last week of December and the first two weeks of January. Ends

Gray whale conjoined discovery rare exception exceptional

Mexico City: Fisherman found a conjoined pair off gray whale calves northwestern Mexican Lagoon. This discovery is entitled by marine biologists of government as “exceptionally rare”.

The 13 foot long siamese whales were dead on their discovery at Ojo de Liebre lagoon, opening to the Baja California peninsula.

National Natural Protected Areas Commission (CONANP) verified the discovery on Monday.

The half-ton species were joined at the waist with separate heads and tails- Benito Bermudez, marine biologist and CONANP’s regional manager.

He described the discovery as ‘exceptionally rare, without any prior of its type’.

Scientists are studying the whales and have planned to look for any other case in whales.

Hundreds of gray whales migrate from the Bering Sea to the warmer regions of Baja California, attracting tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of them.

Almost around 1,200 gray whales were spotted in the region in the 2012-2013 season.

About the author

Paul Morris

Paul Morris is an entrepreneur, consultant and author. He is an advisor at Xpert Automation, a tech-based business incubator focused on scalable startups, and founder of ContentFy.


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