The carcass of an extremely rare white humpback whale recently washed ashore in Australia, and this month the carcass was unexpectedly discovered by a local while rowing on a beach in Victoria.
“The whale was about 33 feet (10 meters) long and was confirmed to be a young female. ‘He was pure white’ and had a marbled appearance,” said whale discoverer Peter Coles. “.
Experts do not believe the dead whale was albino and officials from the Victorian Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning (DELWP) traveled to a remote shore to examine the body and found that the whale was not completely white.
“Albinism is a genetic disorder that prevents animals from producing any of the melanin pigment that gives color to their skin, feathers and eyes,” DELWP regional agency chief Peter Break told ABC News.
According to ABC News, the whale may be suffering from albinism, a genetic condition similar to albinism that affects the ability of some individual cells to produce melanin and can cause patchy discoloration. Status Confirmation.
“Another possible explanation for the whale’s ghostly color is that some of the whale’s skin fell off as the body decomposed,” said a scientist from the Macquarie Society in Australia. “This could be due to exposure to sunlight and climate change.” waves when dead whales float to the surface, which can unravel the light skin underneath. But, she added, “looks like a white whale.”
When the dead whale was found, some feared it was an animal migalu a male hunchback that became famous in Australia after it was first sighted in Queensland in 1991. No one has seen Migala for nearly two years, which means he may have died, however the whale’s size, sex, and lack of albinism have changed. ruled out that it was Migalu. This gives some hope that he may still be alive.
Migalu means “white sliver” in the language of the indigenous people who live near the site of the discovery of the beluga whale.
Last April, a white humpback whale was seen swimming with dolphins in New South Wales and photographs show that this whale was also a leusia and not albino, however there is no evidence that this whale is the same as the dead whale. on the beach.
The reason for the death of the whale is still unclear, but it is likely that he died a few days before he was washed ashore. “The most likely cause of death was a ship raid,” said Wally Franklin, a marine ecologist at Southern Cross University in Australia.
“We could not see the upper body, and if the ship had collided with it, there would probably have been scars and damage on the upper side of the body,” Franklin said. Franklin added that the whale could have died from disease or parasites.
DELWP chose to leave the body on the beach to naturally decompose because its remote location kept bad odors from bothering the locals.
Source: Living Science