The bloodied carcass of a huge sperm whale has washed up on a beach in Iceland after reportedly colliding with a ship.
The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), categorised as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was found washed up on Heradhssandur Beach in Iceland’s Eastern Region.
The East Iceland Nature Agency said the whale was probably killed as a result of a colliding with a ship.
Experts inspected the 15-metre (49-foot) long carcass and took samples which are being analysed at the Icelandic Marine Research Institute, according to local media.
Biologist Skarphedinn G. Porisson said the exact cause of the whale’s death is still unclear, but mentioned that its front teeth were broken indicating a strong collision with something.
He told local media: “Sperm whales can submerge up to 2,000 metres. After a deep dive which may last up to an hour, sperm whales return to the surface to get oxygen for around eight minutes. It is at this point that they are at risk of collision with a ship.”
According to reports, the teeth of sperm whales are highly sought after and very valuable, however exporting them without a permit is illegal in Iceland.
It is unclear what will happen to the whale corpse, however Porisson said that if it is left on the beach it will become buried in the sand over time and decompose naturally.
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