Subject: Blue Whale: Whale provides fodder for stud (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:52:26 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 98 13:17:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: Whale provides fodder for stud

Whale provides fodder for study

   MIDDLETOWN, R.I., March 10 (UPI) -- Marine scientists have
dissected a rare blue whale that was apparently killed by a ship and
towed ashore in Middletown, R.I.
   The 40-ton, 2-year-old male was described as a "unique find" and a
"treasure trove" for scientists.
   The National Marine Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, Mass., says
the whale has been cut up for scientific research.
   Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City will get the whale's larynx,
Harvard University in Cambridge the earbones, and the skull is to go
to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington,
D.C.
   A blue whale -- the largest animal in the world -- is said to be
so rare that this is only the second time this century that one has
been found dead on the East Coast.
   After the whale was towed ashore on Sunday, crowds gathered on
Second Beach to get a look at the huge animal. While many onlookers
described it as "yucky" and "smelly," scientists said it was "the
find of a lifetime."
   Experts said that judging from injuries on its skull and jaw, the
whale apparently had been killed in a collision with a ship.
   There are estimated to be fewer than 300 blue whales remaining in
the North Atlantic. Although they normally grow to about 110 feet,
this one was just about 65 feet in length.
   Scientists said "so little is known" about the blue whale and they
hope their examinations will help develop ways to protect the animal,
which had been hunted to near extinction.