Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 12:38:26 +0200
From: CRMM <crmm@UNIV-LR.FR>
Subject: Blainville's beaked whale stranding
On 2 May 2002, members of the French stranding network (RNE) discovered a
Blainville's Beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris, stranded dead on the
beach of Lege Cap Ferret, located on the southern French Atlantic coast
(44°40' N x 01°20'W).
This specimen, in advanced decomposition state, was a 450 cm long adult
male. External measurements were noted, samples for genetic and toxic
analyses were collected and the skull was preserved. The stomach was empty.
This stranding is the second record on the French coasts for this species.
The first specimen, found on 9 January 1998, was stranded on the beach of
Tarnos village, located on the southern French Atlantic coast (43°30' N x
The discovery of these two specimens appears unusual, however these events
may not be simple cases of erratic movement. Their presence in the Bay of
Biscay, south-west France, may be more common, being influenced by the
bathymetric features of this area. For example, several deep canyons in the
continental shelf would attract prey of beaked whales. Three other beaked
whale species are known in this area : the bottlenose whale, the Cuvier's
beaked whale and the Sowerby's beaked whale.
Olivier Van Canneyt
Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins
Institut de la Mer et du Littoral
Port des Minimes, 17000 La Rochelle
Tel 33 (0) 5 46 44 99 10
Fax 33 (0) 5 46 44 99 45
Email : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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