Dead whale washes up on Plymouth beach

A dead whale has washed up on a beach in Plymouth, officials said.

The body of the 25-foot, female minke whale, which was very decomposed, washed up on Priscilla Beach this morning, said New England Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse.

“It’s probably been dead and floating at sea for weeks,’’ he said.

A crew from the New England Aquarium examined the whale today. The whale was “quite thin’’ and had no visible stomach contents, LaCasse said.

“It looks like it had a long standing chronic condition affecting its ability to forage,’’ he said.

The whale’s lower jaw was missing, and the creature also showed evidence of shark scavaging, most likely attained while the dead mammal was floating in the water, LaCasse said.

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The aquarium did not perform a necropsy, he said.

Minke whales are common in the area, and are often seen during whale-watching tours. The animals range from black to grey and brown in color, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They can grow up to 35 feet long and weigh up to 20,000 pounds.

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