The corpse of a rare True’s beaked whale calf was discovered in Bridgehampton Sunday night, hours after another whale of the same species was found dead on a Southampton beach about 4 miles away.
Rob DiGiovanni, executive director of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Wildlife, said the second whale, a male, washed ashore between Mecox Beach and W. Scott Cameron Beach. He said the person who stumbled upon the beached animal Sunday night and called the foundation’s hotline indicated that it was already dead.
With assistance from the Town of East Hampton, the Riverhead Foundation retrieved the whale Monday afternoon and brought it to its facility, where it was undergoing a necropsy as of 3 p.m.
DiGiovanni said his staff was also still performing a necropsy on the adult female True’s beaked whale they recovered from Southampton Sunday afternoon.
Compared to the first whale, which measured 15.5 feet long and weighed more than a ton, the male was smaller. DiGiovanni said the male was 9 feet long and weighed about 400 pounds.
DiGiovanni said researchers had not yet determined whether the male whale was related to the female that was found earlier on Sunday.
DiGiovanni said the second whale didn’t have any obvious markings on it to indicate its cause of death.
Since True’s beaked whales dwell deep in the ocean, seeing one, dead or alive, is rare, according to Kim Durham, the foundation’s rescue program coordinator. Therefore, little is known about the creatures.
Until this week, DiGiovanni said the foundation had only ever studied two other True’s beaked whales during the past 30 years.
“This is a very unusual event.”