Norfolk Cetaceans – 21st October 2016

Update on the Whale at Holkham – The 15m long juvenile probable female (genitalia were partially buried under sand) Fin Whale has now been necropsied by the CSIP (Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme). From video footage available before the animal was moved on today’s high tide a wound on the left flank was visible indicating a ship strike; also the central spine looked somewhat twisted. The animal also looked under nourished with skeletal features showing in the  tail stock and dorsal area. Hopefully details concerning the exact cause of death will be unearthed and released in due course. The body will be removed/buried in the next few days.

The annotated photo below may help understanding of the various parts visible


1) Two slits of the blowhole

2) Single ridge on rostrum (head)

3) White lower lip and white transferring to black baleen plates %) in the rear of the mouth on the right side is diagnostic of a Fin Whale

4) Tongue

6) Throat pleats

7) Pectoral Fin