This may be the first discovery of conjoined gray whale calves in documented history. Although other conjoined whales have been found before including fin, sei and minke whales, as well as sharks that were connected or conjoined, this was a first for the magnificent gray whale species.
Scientists working in Mexico’s Laguna Ojo de Liebre discovered the twin calves that were no longer alive.
The American Cetacean Society researcher, Alisa Schulman-Janiger believes that they didn’t survive birth and were possibly miscarried due to the size of the calves. They were underdeveloped – normal calves are born as long as 12 to 16 feet, these twins were only about seven feet long.
World's first conjoined whale calves are found dead in Mexican lagoon http://t.co/2XtB1FMERd
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) January 7, 2014
There was a bit of concern over the mother and scientists were curious to learn where she was and if she survived the birth.
Schulman-Janiger speculated that due to signs of severe underdevelopment, it’s possible their birth may have also killed the mom.
The gray whale females swim thousands of miles to give birth in the sheltered, warm lagoons of Mexico. Subtropical lagoons along Baja California’s Pacific coast are common birthing spots for gray whale mothers, although, typically they only give birth to a single calf.
The gray whale twins’ body (bodies) has been collected for further study.
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