Eubalaena glacialis (North Atlantic right whale) - MJM-070110-Eg

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Eubalaena glacialis
North Atlantic right whale
Eubalaena glacialis (North Atlantic right whale) - MJM-070110-Eg - male - 13.7 m - Pelvic location - Smithsonian. The carcass of a 45-foot male was spotted by the Coast Guard Cutter Legare floating 46 miles off Cape May, NJ. It was re-located 69 miles off Cape May on 30 June by a NOAA aircraft. It was retrieved by the 87 foot Coast Guard Cutter Finback on 1 July and towed to near Cape Henlopen, NJ where it was passed off to a commercial vessel. It was beached at Seashore State Park, DL. The carcass was attended by a number of sharks. The necropsy and skeletal salvage were led by Michael Moore of WHOI and Bill McClellan of the Univ. NC, Wilmington, and took all day on 2 July. The carcass had net marks suggesting drowning from gear entanglement. The skeleton was loaded into a 10 wheeled dump truck and the skull onto a heavy equipment trailer and driven to Belchertown, MA beginning on 6 July and arriving at 1:00 AM on the 7th. The transportation fee was $3,000. The finish cutting took 6 hours in humid 100-degree conditions on the 7th (a long-time regional record high temp.) and another 3 hours on the 8th with two people. Since the skeleton is from a mature adult, it is heavy and dense. Every single small bone was salvaged and very little is broken. One pair of vertebrae is fused by Spondylosis deformans and at least one other is affected. The upper left palate (palatine bone) has a healed crack. One humerus has a deep furrow from a rope cutting in over a long period of time. The initial plan was to ship the skeleton to the Madeira Whale Museum on the island of Madeira, Portugal where it would be articulated for display. However, after two years, funds could not be raised for the project. The skeleton was donated to the Smithsonian and is the only complete adult North Atlantic Right Whale skeleton in the collection. This animal was identified by the New England Aquarium in 2013, based on a DNA sample, as “Tips” #1124.
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