Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Sperm Whale, Newbiggin (Northumbs)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 22:49   #1
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,837
Sperm Whale, Newbiggin (Northumbs)

One, apparently unwell and sadly expected to strand overnight:

https://twitter.com/NatNewbiggin/sta...265675279?s=20
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 11th October 2019, 13:07   #2
Andy Atkinson
Druridge Bayer
 
Andy Atkinson's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Posts: 215
Wow. What a record. Is it still about??
Andy Atkinson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 11th October 2019, 17:22   #3
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,837
Still alive today, but still 'in trouble'; has drifted a bit further offshore and south. At least not beached yet.

https://twitter.com/alanpriest2013/s...105957376?s=20
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 11th October 2019, 23:38   #4
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,837
Beached and died about 5 pm today

https://twitter.com/MattParsons63/st...890525189?s=20
https://twitter.com/owenhumphreys1/s...470175744?s=20
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 18th October 2019, 20:06   #5
Mono
Hi!
 
Mono's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake District,UK
Posts: 1,959
More on the CSIP Facebook page


A CSIP team from ZSL returned earlier this week from the examination of the 13.3m subadult male sperm whale, that live stranded and died on the beach at Sandy Bay near Newbiggin, Northumberland on 11th October. To coincide with plans around disposal, the examination had to be conducted over a two-day period.
Blubber deposits were reasonable, but the whale was thought to potentially be in moderate nutritional condition- parasites were found within the blubber layer and have been retained for analysis. Numerous squid beaks were found in the stomachs, but there was no evidence of recent feeding. The intestinal tract was largely empty, with some bile staining throughout and faecal matter in the distal section. A plastic bag was found within the stomachs but was considered to be an incidental finding and not related to the cause of death. No evidence of impaction as a result of the plastic ingestion was noted.
Visceral organs and anatomy had undergone significant degradation as a result of internal decomposition, which unfortunately precluded any meaningful sampling and examination from taking place. It’s therefore difficult to determine whether there had been any significant underlying disease processes, nor would we be able to determine what caused the sperm whale to enter the region.
However, the CSIP team did not find any evidence during the gross examination that we would consider to be inconsistent with this being an out of habitat animal, as has been a common conclusion with many of the sperm whales historically found stranded along the North Sea coast of England.
This is the sixth sperm whale to be recorded stranded around the UK this year- an average of six strandings are recorded each year in the UK (data 2014-18, CSIP database).
Huge thanks to colleagues and friends from Newcastle University, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, local teams from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Northumberland County Council and the staff at Sandy Bay Holiday Park for their much appreciated help and assistance
Mono is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 18th October 2019, 21:12   #6
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
.....
Visceral organs and anatomy had undergone significant degradation as a result of internal decomposition, which unfortunately precluded any meaningful sampling and examination from taking place.
Wonder why it decomposed so quickly? After all, it was alive until only a very few days before the investigation.
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th October 2019, 19:41   #7
Barred Wobbler
Registered User
 
Barred Wobbler's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: North of the wall, south of the border
Posts: 4,730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Wonder why it decomposed so quickly? After all, it was alive until only a very few days before the investigation.
I had that very same thought when I saw a report that decomposition had been a problem.

Then I got to thinking that maybe this is common in whales. Decomposition slows in cold corpses and is accelerated by heat. Maybe the huge body mass of a whale, combined with the insulating effect of its blubber means that the core body temperature is maintained at or near its normal temperature for much longer after death and provides sufficient heat for those decomposition bacteria to get to work on the gut.

Just a guess.
Barred Wobbler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th October 2019, 20:00   #8
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 15,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barred Wobbler View Post
I. . .Then I got to thinking that maybe this is common in whales. Decomposition slows in cold corpses and is accelerated by heat. Maybe the huge body mass of a whale, combined with the insulating effect of its blubber means that the core body temperature is maintained at or near its normal temperature for much longer after death and provides sufficient heat for those decomposition bacteria to get to work on the gut.
That was my thought as well but you beat me to the punch.
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
fugl is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 19th October 2019, 20:26   #9
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,837
Me too, just after I posted!
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th October 2019, 20:43   #10
dantheman
Bah humbug
 
dantheman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 12,222
Blog Entries: 2
Me too, but I never got round to posting

I wondered if the decomposition process even increases the temperature and hence the decomposition (like a 'hot' compost heap) as bacterial activity increases. Google didn't come up with anything, but found this interesting - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall
__________________
stithiansreservoirbirding.blogspot.co.uk/ - last update 10/11/15 - really rather remarkable still!!!
dantheman is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th October 2019, 20:55   #11
Mono
Hi!
 
Mono's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake District,UK
Posts: 1,959
More on whale necropsies here.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38089642
Mono is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 27th October 2019, 07:19   #12
rollingthunder
Registered User
 
rollingthunder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: stourbridge west midlands
Posts: 4,401
Many years ago i had a friend who was a research scientist working on Bugs (Hemiptera/Homoptera) in the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. I visited a few times, stopping en-route to pick up a half bottle of Whisky, to see him both at work and have a mooch around the bits of the Museum not open to the public.

We paid a visit to the Whale ‘office’ where the then curator, a chap called Peter Purvis iirc, was busy with his assistant Bob hosing down one of 2 large fleshy things in a huge Deep Belfast sink. These turned out to be the ear ‘plugs’ of a deceased Sperm Whale that had unfortunately, for whatever reason, been washed up somewhere on the East coast. They had been up to remove these.....with a chain saw Whales put down a waxy secretion annually that builds up like a tree ring and enables them to date it. They had already carried out sexing and measurements in situ and taken suitable photographs. They also had the lower jaw in order to have some teeth as samples. They very kindly gave me a quite large tooth - if i remember where it is i will post a photo but i have to admit it might have been left behind in a house move many years ago

There was also a Blue Whale foetus in Formaldihyde that was about 6’ long and covered in fine hair - a sad but interesting sight...

As an aside those who have visited the NHM will be aware of the Whale hall and the magnificent model of a 120’ Blue Whale that dominates. That model used to house a lot of decorating equipment years ago and at the rear end of the abdomen, where the tail and flukes rise there was a large door that lowered much in the style of the rear hatch on a Hercules transport aircraft. I was invited to a social bash one evening which were frequently held for a number of reasons but always when a senior member of staff leaves. When the museum closes the beast is opened up, stored equipment removed leaving just a few paste tables and trestles that are set up with drinks and food.

It really brings home the size of these magnificent animals when, Jonah-like, you are eating canapes and washing it down with fine wine and Champagne from inside the ‘belly of the beast’ whilst obviously having a ‘Whale of a time’

Good birding -

Laurie
__________________
Chance favours the prepared mind
rollingthunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pygmy Sperm Whale snlw Cetaceans & Marine Life 6 Friday 28th November 2014 13:12
Sperm whale pod, Firth of Forth JCL Cetaceans & Marine Life 1 Tuesday 30th April 2013 08:37
Sperm Whale at Oban Dave Pullan Cetaceans & Marine Life 32 Monday 8th April 2013 18:01
Sperm Whale - Hunstanton MarkHows Cetaceans & Marine Life 5 Friday 6th January 2012 17:57



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.24234700 seconds with 25 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 00:02.