Pregnant female dwarf sperm whale stranding at Haga-Haga (South Africa)

A 2.2 m female dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima)  stranded at Haga-Haga this past weekend (13th October 2018). It had a high parasitic worm load in the oesophagus and was carrying a female foetus (illustrated) . Dr Roger Ellis (EL Museum board member pictured) is thanked for assisting museum scientist Kevin Cole with the necropsy on the cetacean. These whales are rarely seen in the wild and are difficult to distinguish with the other small sperm whale species called the pygmy sperm whale. Two features which assisted in the identification was the erect dorsal fin centred  on the mid-back (illustrated) and the number and shape of the teeth. The pygmy sperm whale has a smaller less erect dorsal fin situated closer to the tail than the head. It also usually has more teeth in the lower jaw. Mrs Connie Oosthuizen of Marshstrand is thanked for reporting the stranding to the museum.

Kogia sima4-001.jpg


Daily Dispatch Wednesday 17th October 2018



About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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