Scientists in Mexico's Laguna Ojo de Liebre, or Scammon's Lagoon, on Sunday discovered conjoined gray whale calves.

 It might be the first documented case of conjoined twin gray whales. (Conjoined twins have occurred in other species, such as fin, sei and minke whales. A database search at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County did not reveal published instances of conjoined gray whale twins, or what might also be referred to as Siamese gray whale twins.)

Unfortunately, the twins discovered in Scammon's Lagoon did not survive. Most likely, they were miscarried because the carcass is only about seven feet long, versus the normal 12-16 feet for newborn gray whales.

Alisa Schulman-Janiger, an American Cetacean Society researcher, pointed out that the twins were underdeveloped and said that pointed to a premature birth. She also wondered about the fate of the mother.

The twins' carcass has been collected for study.

The top photo is courtesy of Jesus Gomez. The bottom photo was among three posted Sunday to the Guerrero Negro Verde Facebook page, with the translated statement, "Unfortunately, the specimen died. [Its] survival was very difficult."

Gray whales are arriving in Scammon's Lagoon and other lagoons along the Baja California peninsula, after a nearly 6,000-mile journey from Arctic home waters. They give birth during the southbound journey, or in the lagoons, and nurse their calves for several weeks before migrating back to the Bering and Chukchi seas.

NOAA estimates the Pacific gray whale population to number about 21,000 animals.

Source: Pete Thomas Outdoors.


Responses to "Conjoined gray whale calves discovered in Baja California lagoon; find could be a first (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would bet this is because of Fukashimas nuclear meltdown in Japan

  2. Anonymous says:

    Actually they have found no sign of radiation. This was a natural anomaly. Not to downplay the fukashima event.

  3. Anonymous says:

    thanks to nuclear energy (worst fcking idea ever!), now we have deformities in marine life, not to mention the entire ocean is dieing from japan's meltdown.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Conjoined twins have happened for hundreds of years, it's just the first documented case of one in this particular species, but then as they breathe air and would have severe trouble swimming like this it's quite possible any others simply drowned and were eaten by sharks before anyone was likely to see them. Not that radiation poisoning is unimportant but there's a lot of worse things we've been doing to the oceans for decades, there's huge areas where fish can't live because of the fertiliser run off from China for example.
    Also it's easy to jump to assumptions when it comes to unusual wildlife. For example after Chernobyl there were lots of frogs found with five legs or three legs or so forth. After a lot of research it was discovered they hadn't been caused by the accident, a portion of frogs are naturally born a bit weird and develop unusually, but then over 90% of tadpoles never make it to being fully grown frogs let alone trying to breed so usually the slightly dud ones get eaten fairly quickly because they couldn't get away as fast but the accident had killed off all their predators so now the weird ones were growing up. It could simply be a naturally conjoined whale and it's just increased scrutiny that caused us to actually find it before something ate it.

  5. Is there anything to be done for them?

  6. Anonymous says:

    amazing story and photos thank you for sharing this freak of nature

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