Posted by: The ocean update | December 23, 2015

1,200-pound Gray whale calf washes ashore in Santa Monica (California, USA)

premature-Gray-whale-CaliforniaDecember 23rd, 2015 (Alexander N’Guyen). The calf was a premature birth, an ‘abortion’ by the mother an expert said.

A dead 11-foot-long, 1,200-pound newborn gray whale washed ashore in Santa Monica on Tuesday.

Right now is the start of the southward gray whales migration to their breeding ground in Baja California, said Jim Dines, mammalogy collections manager at the Natural History Museum.

The calf a premature, he said.

“Sometimes the moms give birth before making it to the lagoons,” Dines said. “And sometimes, like in this case, they abort.”

The whale, which washed up near lifeguard tower 12, was taken off the beach by Santa Monica city maintenance workers.

Only a few migrating whales are passing by now, but Dines expects dozens to pass by in the coming weeks.

The calf’s body will be buried at the beach by maintenance workers, he said.

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