Southampton (WALK) - Marine researchers on Long Island have a deep-sea mystery to solve today.
They want to know how a rare True's beaked whale (similar to the one pictured) wound up dead, washed up on a beach in Southampton village yesterday. Someone called the hotline for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Wildlife around 9 AM Sunday when he spotted the whale thrashing around near the shore, but someone else then pushed it back into the water. The whale's body washed up on the beach later in the morning.
Heavy equipment was brought in to remove the whale's remains and bring it to Riverhead Foundation's facility, where it will be examined. They hope to determine a cause of death.
The whale was originally reported to be a dolphin. It has a beaked head, similar to a dolphin, but is much larger.
According to the Riverhead Foundation, the True's beaked whale normally lives deep in the ocean, so not much is actually known about them. Beachings of the beaked whale are rare on Long Island.
The Riverhead Foundation maintains a 24-hour hotline where the public can report beachings of marine mammals and turtles in distress. Sightings can be called in at (631) 369-9829.