Posted by: The ocean update | July 10, 2015

Reseachers start dissecting sperm whale carcass found off Jurong Island (Republic of Singapore)

The sperm whale carcass at Tuas Marine Transfer Station on July 10, 2015. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The sperm whale carcass at Tuas Marine Transfer Station on July 10, 2015. PHOTO : LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

July 10th, 2015 (Audrey Tan). SINGAPORE – Researchers from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum started dissecting the sperm whale (Ed Sibylline : an adult female) carcass at the Tuas Marine Transfer Station on Saturday morning.

They will try to reach the internal organs and gut by cutting through the outer layers of fat and muscle. Before starting the dissection, the researchers inserted metal tubes into the carcass to release gases that have built up in the abdominal area. 

Their work will include taking samples of its muscle tissue, which contains precious genetic information, and studying the contents of its stomach.

The museum’s scientific officer, Mr Foo Maosheng – one of the team members – said : “By studying its stomach contents, we can possibly tell where it has been feeding and at what depths.”

The 10m-long sperm whale carcass was found floating off Jurong Island on Friday morning.

The species had never previously been found in the waters around Singapore or peninsular Malaysia.

Oil industry worker Mr Jailani Salleh told The Straits Times that he spotted the dead mammal under a jetty at around 7.45am and posted a video of it on Facebook.

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