A local fisherman reports a mysterious rotting carcass that washed up on an Indonesian beach to the Indonesian Navy last week  (10/05). Fisherman Asrul Tuanakota, who discovered the 50ft (15m) creature on the northern shore of Seram Island last Tuesday, had guessed it could be a giant squid because it appeared to be covered in tentacles.

Baleen whales range in size from the 20 ft (6 m) and 6,600 lb (3,000 kg) pygmy right whale to the 112 ft (34 m) and 190 t (210 short tons) blue whale, which is also the largest creature on earth. The rotting remains of a giant sea creature that washed up on a remote Indonesian beach on Tuesday have been identified as a baleen whale

Alexander Werth, a whale biologist at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and George Leonard, chief scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, said on Monday that it was almost certainly a baleen whale.The mysterious rotting carcass that washed up on an Indonesian beach last week was once a whale, experts have said. Seram Island is also close to a migration route used by baleen whales, UPI reports.

Two experts say distinctive jaw bones and what appears to be a feeding plate from the animal’s mouth, used to filter food out of the water, gave its identity away.

Researcher say warmer ocean waters could be making such events more common, as bacteria which feed on the corpse can spread more quickly. Baleen whales (systematic name Mysticeti), known earlier as whalebone whales, form a parvorder of the infraorder Cetacea (whales, dolphins and porpoises). They are a widely distributed and diverse parvorder of carnivorous marine mammals. Residents have asked authorities to help remove the decaying remains.

The meat, blubber, baleen, and oil of baleen whales have traditionally been used by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Once relentlessly hunted by commercial industries for these products, cetaceans are now protected by international law. Locals who discovered the corpse last week had guessed that it could be a giant squid because of what appeared to be tentacles hanging off its body
The ancestor of Baleen whale, The Miocene mysticetes were often hunted by megalodon and killer sperm whales.

Earlier this year, a mysterious hairy sea monster was found on a beach in the Philippines. It baffled locals who speculated the two-tonne creature was a kind of rare undiscovered dugong.

It was later identified as a whale – but had developed a strange appearance due to decomposition.The ‘tentacles’ are probably made from fatty blubber which has been torn into strips by scavenging predators, most likely sharks.

Whale carcasses typically sink into the depths of the ocean after death, though under the right circumstances the body can fill with gases as it decomposes, allowing it to float. In such cases the body can then drift ashore, as seems to have happened in Indonesia. The pair said bones protruding from the mass of rotting flesh and what appear to be feeding plates from the animal’s mouth used to filter food led to their conclusions. Although baleen whales are not typically found in the region’s water, most species prefer the colder waters around the Northern and Southern poles.

In the darkness, the eye-witness initially mistook the giant sea creature for a stranded boat. The unusual finding attracted scores of residents to Hulung Beach at Iha village in West Seram district. The reason for the giant squid washing up on the shore is still unknown, but it is believed to have been dead for at least three days before it was found. Residents have meanwhile asked the government to help them remove the remains of the squid as it already started to decay.

Baleen is the name given to a whole family of whales which encompasses several subspecies, including the humpback whale (pictured)

 

 

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