Stranded Sowerby’s beaked whale on Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Today WDC assisted the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) to post mortem a young (3.5 metre) Sowerby’s beaked whale at the Port of Ness, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
The whale was male, had a good blubber layer and had been a healthy individual. Cause of death was a blunt force trauma that resulted in a fractured lower jaw. The injury meant that the whale was not able to feed and as a result his stomach was empty.
Sand in his lungs indicated that the whale live stranded (probably on Monday afternoon), but a lack of muscular bruising suggested that he died within a short time of stranding.
A few Sowerby’s beaked whales strand each year around Scotland and a complete record of Scottish strandings can be found on the SMASS website.