What can we learn from the beaked whale discovered in California?

A 35-foot Baird’s beaked whale carcass washed up on the beach at Point Reyes National Seashore in California earlier this week, giving scientists the opportunity to study this rare species.

This is the first time The Marine Mammal Center has seen a Baird’s beaked whale in its 41-year history, and the National Marine Fisheries Service historical records state that less than a dozen of the species have ever washed up along the entire West Coast.

“Beaked whales are a very interesting family of toothed whales that mostly live off the continental shelf edge, foraging in deep canyons to feed on squid,” Padraig Duignan, chief pathologist at The Marine Mammal Center, told CBS News. “The opportunity to perform a necropsy on such a unique animal that we rarely have the opportunity to examine will help contribute to our baseline data on the species.” READ MORE.