Scientists from the Marin Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences identified the whale as a sub-adult female. The scientists will return Saturday to perform a full necropsy, having taken preliminary skin tissue and blubber samples Friday morning.
Fluke markings on the carcass helped scientists identify the cetacean in the Cascadia Research database. This particular creature was first spotted off the coast of California in 1999 and has been seen at least 11 times since then. So, does it have a name, like Sylvia, or Hortense, or is it just some cold scientific deal like Whale A-79?
According to the Marine Mammal Center, about 2,800 blue whales live off the California Coast and are visible in the summer and fall. In 42 years, the center has responded to eight cases of washed-up blue whales, including a 65-foot blue whale that appeared on Daly City's Westmoor Beach in October.