A baby sperm whale was reported stranded in Veracruz, Mexico⚠️

in Aquatic Sentinels2 years ago

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Once again, I bring you content that I consider to be of quality, this takes several hours of reading, comprehension and writing.💡📚

But more than that, this is one more publication so that together we can appreciate and contemplate how wonderful our ocean is!

🦈🦀🐢🐳🐙 I hope you enjoy it!🐟🦈🦀🐢🐳


Photo by Dra. Ibiza Martínez📸
📍Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Stranding occurs when a specimen of some marine species leaves the beach for some particular reason, stranding can occur for many causes, some of them may be: predation, disorientation, lack of food and of course... ⚠️for having ingested garbage or plastic they mistook for food⚠️. Whatever the reason, immediate action should be taken through an expert biologist, veterinarian, or even regional authorities.

As some of you may know, I am dedicated to the southern voice of Mexico of the Mexican Society of Mastozoology🐬, Dr. Ibiza Martinez, who lives in the port of Veracruz, has communicated to us the stranding of what looks like a baby sperm whale...


Photo by Balazs Buzas📸
📍Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

👉Join us until the end of this post to find out all the details👈...

The following information is taken from: Urbán R., J. y M. Guerrero-Ruiz 2008. Ficha técnica de Kogia sima. En: Urbán R., J. (compilador). Conocimiento biológico de las especies de mamíferos marinos, incluidas en la Norma Oficial Mexicana-059-SEMARNAT-2001. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur. Bases de datos SNIB-CONABIO. Proyecto No. CK009. México, D.F; CONABIO (2021). Adapted by @juanbg

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The dwarf sperm whale and the pygmy sperm whale🐬

It is not a common sperm whale but rather the small dwarf sperm whale, which is sometimes confused with the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), as their name implies, they are smaller than common sperm whales.


Photo by Heather and Andrew Hodgson📸
📍V&A Waterfront Basin, Cape Town, South Africa

The dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) and the pygmy sperm whale are the only members of the genus Kogia, their body resembles a porpoise and they are animals with a robust body but they narrow more towards the area of ​​the tail fin. One of the main differences with the pygmy sperm whale is that the lower jaw is slightly shorter, the average length is 8.85 feets, they are small cetaceans. Another of its differences is that the teeth of this species are more pointed.


Photo by Heather and Andrew Hodgson📸
📍V&A Waterfront Basin, Cape Town, South Africa

Since 1989, Caldwell and Caldwell reported that the distribution of this species is worldwide!🌎

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A little more about where they live🌎

Despite its global distribution, the dwarf sperm whale tends to be distributed in slightly warm waters.

The two species of sperm whales in the genus Kogia prefer to live near the continental shelf


Photo by Graha M Talaber📸
📍Hawaii, US

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Why do these sperm whales strand?

Actually, the strandings of this species are well documented, there are many works on the stranding of the dwarf sperm whale, to mention a few examples, there are the works of Fleischer et al. (1984); Maldonado et al. (1984); Aurioles et al. (1993); Hernández et al. (2001); Guerrero et al. (2001); Jaume et al. (2001); and Díaz et al. (2004).


Photo by Graha M Talaber📸
📍Hawaii, U

The funny thing is that when this species is studied, it is not distinguished if it is a dwarf sperm whale or a pygmy sperm whale, they look very similar!

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It is a cetacean that is mostly with groups of up to 10 individuals. Watson (1981) reported that they tend to surface to breathe slowly, blow, and then turn quickly. They usually spend considerable time floating on the surface of the water immobile, that is part of their natural behavior.


Photo by Graha M Talaber📸
📍La Paz, BCS, México

Another interesting fact is that neither of the two Kogia species are animals that vocalize (make noises) very frequently. The eyes of the Kogia are adapted for places where there is not much light and visibility is limited.

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Why did this specimen die?

Dr. Ibiza Martinez studies brain and cognitive aspects in marine mammals, she is the vice president of the Mexican Society of Marine Mammalogy. Dr. Ibiza mentions that this find is about a baby dwarf sperm whale, and that it shows slight marks on the body that are probably due to small bites of the cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis), also called the cigar shark😯.


Photo by Jennifer Strotman "Cookicutter shark" (Isistius brasiliensis)📸

The necropsy has already been carried out by the authorities of Veracruz, and it is expected that they will present the information soon.

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Thank you for taking the time to research and share this interesting information. 🐳

Thanks to you for reading this!😁🐬