Rare whale with long, spiky teeth washes up at San Onofre State Beach

  • A rare pygmy sperm whale depleted at San Onofre State Coastline. (Images politeness of Jim Serpa).

  • A rare pygmy sperm whale washes up at San Onofre State Beach. (Images thanks to Jim Serpa).

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  • An uncommon pygmy sperm whale depletes at San Onofre State Beach. (Photos thanks to Jim Serpa).



Jim Serpa, a former Doheny State Coastline manager, knew what he was looking at when a lifeguard at San Onofre State Coastline sent him pictures of a weird creature existing on the rocks.

Serpa, of San Clemente, got the telephone call to look from Todd Shanklin. Shanklin, on duty that day at the coastline in San Diego County, understood Serpa was the man for the work. Both had actually shared an office at Doheny.

” Todd claimed he checked out the head, and also it kind of reminded him of a sperm whale just various,” Serpa stated Sunday. “However when I saw the big round head, the small dorsal fin back on its back and also the dagger teeth, I knew specifically what it was. It additionally had an odd blowhole that’s further up than any type of various other whale and slightly off-center. As I stalked it, I recognized my ID from the initial pictures was proper.”

The exploration of the nearly nine-foot whale Friday, May 15, was an amazing locate for Serpa, that has actually long been interested by sharks and marine creatures &http://#8212; &http://#8212; particularly ones that are unusual.

Pygmy sperm whales are located in pleasant as well as tropical seas worldwide. They look very similar to dwarf sperm whales, making it extremely challenging to compare the two varieties in the field. There is limited details on both types as well as officials at the National Oceanic as well as Atmospheric Management consider them rare.

Serpa has actually never seen a live pygmy sperm whale. They normally eat squid and also use their long, sharp teeth to keep them captured as they devour them.

Shanklin notified officials at NOAA of the whale and also took examples from it. Authorities from the federal company plan to take a look at the carcass this week. All marine animals are protected by the Marine Mammal Security Act. This shields types from decreases that would certainly reduce their populations listed below certain limits established by NOAA.

When Serpa examined the compact body and its wrinkled brown to blue-gray back, he noticed what appeared to be a bullet opening.

” I don’t know if it was pre-or post-mortem,” he stated.

Pygmy sperm whales are most endangered by complications from angling lines.

Why the whale is right here is anyone’s guess.

” Scientists state the Pacific is super warm now, so perhaps it simply turned up below in a warm spot,” he claimed. “Or, perhaps they are right here even more than we know, and we do not see them since they shy away from us.”

For Serpa, the experience is an additional experience in his several years of researching and enjoying aquatic life.

As a kid, he was fascinated with Jacques Cousteau’s undersea experiences.

” I couldn’t get enough of that undersea life,” he said. “This year marks the 50th year as a diving diver. That impacts my mind; it’s been that long. As well as, I’m still like a youngster each time I place on a mask as well as look under the water.”

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