Massachusetts Right Whale Skull Mystery Still Unfolding

The International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Research and Rescue team was able to remove the mystery whale skull in one piece from a private beach in Brewster, Massachusetts.The WHDH TV Boston video interviewing International Fund for Animal Welfare staff about a buried right whale skull on a beach on Cape Cod. The International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Research and Rescue team was able to remove the mystery whale skull in one piece from a private beach in Brewster, Massachusetts. We were concerned that given the brittle condition of the bone and the shear weight of 400-500 pounds that it may crumble, but with the help of the Brewster Department of Public Work, the Department of Natural Resources and a backhoe - it went as well as we could have hoped.

Now, we'll bring the skull back to our warehouse and let it dry out before attempting DNA analysis. Then, we'll drill into the skull and extract bone shavings. If there is viable DNA contained within the sample, then we may be able to trace this whale back to one of the many studied families of whales on Cape Cod. At this point, we suspect that it is a right whale that is more than 30 years old. If all goes well, we may be able to solve this mystery and publicly display the skull along with its history as an educational tool for future generations. -- JH

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