Monday, March 4, 2024

Stress of the deformed huge whale off the Spanish coasts: the origin of the disease explained by science

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Swimming with scoliosis is not easy. Especially if you weigh 40 tons. The whale was spotted near Colera Beach in Valencia, Spain, about 200 miles southwest of Barcelona, ​​and appears to be being harnessed. Instead he was trying to move despite a severely deformed spine. The boat’s skipper flagged a fin whale: biologists and veterinarians at the Foundation for Oceanography in Valencia intervened. They verified that the animal was not caught in any drift nets, that is, those that were not anchored to the bottom and were left free to move at the mercy of the currents.

He suffered from severe scoliosis: scoliosis of unknown origin, which completely changed his physique. According to a study published in 2021 in the journal Nature, whales are not marine mammals known to develop scoliosis automatically. All cases of whale scoliosis have an obvious cause that is often traumatic in origin, such as after a ship collision. Given the whale’s massive size in the open ocean and its deformity, it would have been impossible for veterinarians to place a remote tracker to obtain more detailed data on its condition, biology, and trajectory. A few hours later, she moved away from the coast, heading towards the open sea. It is not excluded that it could be spotted again in the next few days.

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Wynne Dinwiddie
Wynne Dinwiddie
"Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst."
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