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Fin whale beached in Dorset

12/11/2012 10:59:20

Fin whale near Kimmeridge in Dorset.

Dead Fin whale near Kimmeridge
November 2012. Steve Trewhella, of UK Coastal Wildlife, has sent us these images of a beached whale in Dorset. The whale washed up at the beginning of November at the bottom of the sea cliffs near Kimmeridge.

Juvenile Fin whale
It is thought that the whale is a juvenile Fin whale, though this has not been verified. The whale measured some 13.5 metres long, and is decaying rapidly.

Can live for 90 years
Fin whales can grow up to around 25 metres long, with the average at around 20 metres, and a female whale can weigh up to 120,000 kg, making them the second largest whale after the mighty Blue. Remarkably, they can live for up to 90 years. Although they are inaudible to the human ear, the whales' low frequency calls can be heard by other whales some 850 kilometres away.

Fin whales are seen most winters off Cornwall
Since the 1990s they have been seen during most winters off the coast of Cornwall and other parts of south-west England. Their vertical blows are easily visible from some two miles away without binoculars, and they may stay close to the surface for about a minute and a half minutes each time they surface. They then dive to depths of up to 250 metres, although they are also known to enter shallow water, and each dive can last between 10 and 15 minutes. They have a varied diet of fish and squid, but may also eat krill and copepods. With their huge mouths, which make up about 25% of their body length, they can take in up to 70 cubic meters of water in one gulp.

Stranded whale, Courtesy of UK Coastal Wildlife 


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