A pair of apparently conjoined whale calves have been found dead off the coast in Mexico.
The whales—which washed up on January 5—weighed about half-a-ton, measured 13 feet long and were linked at the mid-section.
A marine biologist from the National Natural Protected Areas says conjoined whales or siamese whales have never been logged before in Mexico.
[Benito Bermudez, Director, NNPAC]:
“It was an organism that seems to have died recently and it was composed of two whale calves joined around the abdominal region, two heads, double fins, two tails. In other words, it was a typical conjoined organism that was developed from a single ovary with a single sperm cell that during the process of division in the embryonic phase, the separation was incomplete and in that manner, the twins remained conjoined in the abdominal portion. This made it difficult for both of them to survive and both died.”
This video of the gray whales, with two visible heads and two tails, was taken by Krystian Abundez in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, which leads into the Pacific Ocean along the Baja California peninsula.
Tissue samples have been taken for further investigation.
Scientists will wait for the carcass to decompose in order to recover the skeleton for further scientific studies.
The gray whale migrates along North America’s Pacific Coast between arctic seas and the lagoons off of Mexico’s Baja California.
They are about 46 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons.
Gray whales feed off the sea bottom, scooping up mud and eating small crustaceans and tube worms found in sediments