Marine biologists were dispatched Monday to assess a dead whale found near Ditch Plains in Montauk, after they were tipped off that the giant mammal had washed up there.
The creature, a male humpback, about 26 feet long, was found to be "fairly decomposed," indicating it would have been in the water for a while, said Rachel Bosworth, spokeswoman for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.
It's believed to be the same whale that was reported last Wednesday as being washed up in Montauk. That one had been swept back into the water overnight before biologists could do an assessment, she said.
A necropsy needs to be performed to determine its age and provide more detail as to cause of death. But a biologist did say the mandible was broken, which generally occurs with trauma, and that could point to a possible ship strike, Bosworth said.
With a plan for disposal from the Town of East Hampton not yet determined as of Monday, the foundation could not conduct a necropsy on the beach. But the team may return Tuesday to collect more samples, she said.
The team was escorted to the rocky, out-of-the way, nonpublic beach by East Hampton Marine Patrol, which also has been helping with sighting of the creature, she said.