It what might be the first recorded instance of conjoined twin gray whales, these two poor creatures washed up in Mexico’s Laguna Ojo de Liebre, or Scammon’s Lagoon, on Sunday. Unfortunately, the pair did not survive. The remains were removed for future research.
It was believed that the whales were miscarried, as they were only about seven feet long, versus the normal 12 to 16 feet for newborn gray whales.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, an American Cetacean Society researcher, commented that the whales were severely underdeveloped and questioned whether the birth or stillbirth might have also killed the mother.
Photos of the whales had been posted on to the Guerrero Negro Verde Facebook page Sunday with the translated caption: “Unfortunately, the specimen died. [Its] survival was very difficult.”
Conjoined twins have occurred in other species, notably fin, sei and minke whales. However, an online search and a search of the database at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County did not reveal published instances of conjoined gray whale twins.