So I’m at my desk when my cell rings – its Anton (you know – our Collection Manager Marine Mammals)…
“Do you wanna see a dead whale?”
Of course! So off I trot (nice and quicksmart in time with whatever’s playing on my MP3) – not even worrying about what the Wellington wind was doing to my hair… you can’t turn your nose up to this kind of opportunity!
And there it was – I wasn’t too sure what I was expecting but this poor creature had been dead at least a couple of days, so it wasn’t in the best shape. It had been battered around by waves, dashed against rocks, pecked and chewed by various creatures.
Two things I have learnt about a Pygmy sperm whale – notice three-quarters of the way towards its tail there’s discolouring in the water – I thought it was blood… its ink! We think they squirt ink out much like a squid does to confuse and escape from predators.
The other thing (although it has decomposed so much you couldn’t see it) is that these whales have markings just behind their heads that imitate gills. So, from a distance they could be mistaken for great white sharks.
The sneaky camouflage whale!
By this time critical mass of onlookers had been achieved so passers by were now stopping to see what the go was. Of course nobody had been interested when it was just Anton and myself All those people walked on by who missed this opportunity… hence the blog! Too exciting and interesting not to share!