Subject: Monster: Scientist confirms that " (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Mon, 12 Jan 1998 11:51:35 -0500 (EST)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 98 12:37:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: TAS: Scientist confirms that "

TAS: Scientist confirms that "Monster" ia whale blubber

   HOBART, Jan 12 AAP - The sea monster that has excited Tasmanians
for the last week was merely whale blubber, a CSIRO scientist
confirmed today.
   Theories have abounded since the smelly, hairy four tonne blob
was found washed ashore at Four Mile Beach on Tasmania's West
Coast.
   Barry Bruce, a marine biologist with the CSIRO's Marine Research
Division in Hobart, and officers from the Tasmanian Parks and
Wildlife Service inspected the carcass on the weekend.
   Mr Bruce today said that the inspection confirmed it was whale
remains.
   "Before an examination the most plausible explanations were that
it was going to be a piece of whale blubber or shark tissue and
once an inspection had been made, it was obvious the remains were
blubber from a whale which would have died at sea and decayed
before washing ashore," he said.
   The dried sinews on the surface of the remains looked like
matted hair.
   Mr Bruce has taken samples to Hobart for DNA testing at the
CSIRO laboratories.
   "It is important that we take the investigation one step further
to establish the species of whale and therefore provide a more
accurate record on strandings to remove some of the mystery in
future," he said.
   "There is still a lot we don't know about our seas and sometimes
these beach findings can reveal new and important information."