Subject: Blue Whale Found Dead Off R.I. (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:45:43 -0500 (EST)

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                      J. Michael Williamson
Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu>
                   Associate Professor-Science
  Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
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          "Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call,
   Wanted to sail upon your waters, since I was three feet tall"
                        Jimmy Buffett
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 98 04:23:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: Blue Whale Found Dead Off R.I.

Blue Whale Found Dead Off R.I.

   MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) -- The carcass of a blue whale weighing up
to 40 tons was towed ashore Saturday, one of the few times the
rare, endangered animal has been available for hands-on study.
   "For whale scientists, this is virtually a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity," said Dana Hartley, coordinator of the Marine Mammal
Stranding Network of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration of Woods Hole, Mass.
   The whale, which was not full grown, was most likely killed
after being hit by a ship, researchers said.
   Its carcass was spotted Tuesday by the Coast Guard, which towed
the 67-foot-long whale approximately seven miles to a beach along
Narragansett Bay.
   The animals have been listed as endangered since 1966, victims
of the whaling industry in the first half of the century.
Scientists believe there once were 400,000 blue whales in the
world's oceans, but now only about 12,000.
   The adult blue whale grows to as much as 110 feet and can weigh
about 200 tons. It is the biggest animal in the world, and one of
the biggest ever to have lived.
   There are only about 300 such whales in the Northwest Atlantic.
   Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Harvard
University, the Smithsonian Institution and the Armed Forces
Institute of Pathology all intended to take organ and tissue
samples from the animal.
   "There are only a handful of records of blue whale strandings
in this century," said Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for NOAA. "Not
only are they hardly ever seen, but the chances to see one this
close and to do this kind of sampling is, if not unique, very
rare."