Stranded minke whale

On March 10th, a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) (3.5 m) stranded in Nieuwpoort. This is the fourth reported stranding of a minke whale at the Belgian coast. This specimen was named Eugene and transported to the University of Liège for autopsy where they found 400g of plastic in its stomach. 

 

Subsequently, researchers from the Museum of Morphology transported Eugene to Ghent for further anatomical investigation and processing. They aim to preserve the skeleton. Because of the young age of the animal (1 year), the skeleton contains a lot of cartilage, challenging the conservation.

 

The Museum of Morphology also preserved the mandible of the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) which stranded in the summer of 2009 on the beach of Sint-Anneke, and parts of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Theofiel which stranded last year in Heist.